José Abreu, the 2020 American League MVP and three-time All-Star, is on the move to the Houston Astros. He’s expected to sign a three-year deal, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, who had the initial report Monday.
Abreu, 35, left quite a mark in nine seasons with the Sox, ranking third on the team’s all-time list with 243 home runs. He has a .292/.354/.506 career slash line in 1,270 games. He slashed .304/.378/.446 with 15 home runs and 75 RBI in 2022.
Abreu’s departure puts Andrew Vaughn in line to play first base for the Sox.
The Sox open the 2023 season in Houston. In Abreu, the reigning World Series champion Astros are signing someone known for his durability and run production.
HALL OF FAME: Hall of Famers Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris and Ryne Sandberg are among 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee that will meet Sunday to consider the Cooperstown fate of an eight-man ballot that includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro.
Hall of Famers Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also are on the panel, which will meet in San Diego ahead of the winter meetings.
They will be joined by former Toronto CEO Paul Beeston, former Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno, Miami Marlins GM Kim Ng, Minnesota Twins President Dave St. Peter and Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.
Three media members/historians are on the committee: longtime statistical analyst Steve Hirdt of Stats Perform, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neal and Slusser are past presidents of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark will be the committee’s non-voting chair.
The ballot also includes Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling. The committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A candidate needs 75% to be elected and anyone who does will be inducted on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the BBWAA vote, announced on Jan. 24.
Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their 10th and final appearances on the BBWAA ballot. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).
Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.
Bonds denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program, just over two weeks after getting his 3,000th hit.
A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.
Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) in 2021. Support dropped after hateful remarks he made in retirement toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.
McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. Murphy was on the BBWAA ballot 15 times and received a high of 116 votes (23.2%) in 2000. Mattingly received a high of 145 votes (28.2%) in the first of 15 appearances on the BBWAA ballot in 2001, and Belle appeared on two BBWAA ballots, receiving 40 votes (7.7%) in 2006 and 19 (3.5%) in 2007.
Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.
This year’s BBWAA ballot includes Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver among 14 newcomers and Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner among holdovers.
WHITE SOX: The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.
The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.
Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.
The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances.
Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.
The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.
Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.
Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.
MLBPA: The Major League Baseball Players Association elected six new players to its eight-member executive subcommittee.
Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ, Giants outfielder Austin Slater, White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito and Rockies pitcher Brent Suter are the new members. Rangers infielder Marcus Semien and Mets infielder Francisco Lindor both remain part of the committee.
Zack Britton, Jason Castro, Gerrit Cole, Andrew Miller, James Paxton and Max Scherzer are the six players who completed their two-year terms and will now rotate off the executive subcommittee.
DH AWARD: Shohei Ohtani has been voted the majors’ best designated hitter for the second consecutive season.
The Los Angeles Angels’ two-way slugger won the Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award, beating out Houston’s Yordan Alvarez as the top player at the position in 2022.
Ohtani, who won the AL MVP award unanimously in 2021 and finished second in the MVP voting this season, is the first player to win the designated hitter trophy in back-to-back years since David Ortiz won it five straight times from 2003-07.
Ohtani batted .273 with 34 homers, 95 RBI, 11 stolen bases and a .875 OPS that was good for 10th in the majors. He led all designated hitters with at least 100 at-bats in hits, runs, total bases, triples, homers, RBI and walks, while his six multihomer games tied Troy Glaus’ franchise record with the Angels. Ohtani also had an 18-game hitting streak during the season.
Alvarez finished second in the voting after an outstanding offensive season with the World Series champion Houston Astros, but the Cuban slugger played only 77 games as a DH. He finished third in the AL MVP voting behind the Yankees’ Aaron Judge and Ohtani.
Ohtani is the 11th player to be named the majors’ top designated hitter multiple times during the award’s 49 years of existence. He is the only Japanese player and the only Angels player to win it.
The winner is chosen by a panel of 100 media members and public relations employees.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)