Rays decline $13 million club option on CF Kevin Kiermaier

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays have a declined a $13 million club option on centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier for next season, triggering a $2.5 million buyout and making the defensive whiz a free agent on Thursday.

Kiermaier, 32, spent parts of 10 seasons with the Rays, who drafted him in the 31st round in 2010. He’s a three-time Gold Glove winner who batted .248 with 82 homers, 316 RBIs and 112 stolen bases over 914 games.

The expected move, which completed a $53.5 million, six-year contract, was expected after Kiermaier was limited by to 63 games this year. He last played on July 9 in Cincinnati and had season-ending surgery on his left hip in August.

Kiermaier, a Gold Glove winner in 2015, 2016 and 2019, hit .228 with seven homers and 22 RBIs this year. He appeared in 29 postseason game for the Rays, batting .220 with four homers and 11 RBIs.


Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.