José Abreu Agrees to Three-Year Contract with Houston Astros

José Abreu is celebrating an Astros-nominical deal…

The 35-year-old Cuban professional baseball player, who plays first base, and the Houston Astros have agreed to a three-year contract, according to ESPN.

José AbreuAbreu will add another run-producing bat to the World Series champions’ lineup that’s already filled with them.

Abreu, who turns 36 in January, won the American League MVP award in 2020 and is second in baseball with 863 RBIs since his first season in the major leagues, 2014. He hit .304/.378/.446 this year with the Chicago White Sox, for whom he had played all nine of his big league seasons after defecting from Cuba.

Following a dreadful first five weeks, Abreu was one of the best hitters in baseball over the final three-quarters of the season, batting .335/.405/.479, though his 15 home runs over the entire year were a career low.

He joins an Astros lineup with fellow Cuban Yordan ÁlvarezJose AltuveKyle TuckerAlex Bregman and World Series MVP Jeremy Peña.

Abreu will replace Yuli Gurriel, a longtime rival in the Cuban National Series.

Abreu and Gurriel, along with Yoenis Cespedes, were widely regarded as the best players of their generation from Cuba, both high-contact hitters — though Abreu’s power was the separator.

The White Sox extended him for three years and $50 million after 2019, when he led the AL with 123 RBIs. Over his nine seasons, Abreu hit .292/.354/.506 with 243 home runs and an adjusted OPS 34% better than league average.

He’s the second signing for this winter for the Astros, who reupped reliever Rafael Montero on a three-year, $34.5 million contract. The Astros’ projected payroll is currently in the $175 million range — they’ve exceeded $187 million each of the previous five seasons — and they still hope to sign ace Justin Verlander, who could command upward of $40 million a year.

Soler to Sign with the Chicago Cubs…

Jorge Soler is ready to play professional ball in the United States…

The 20-year-old Cuban baseball star, who defected from his native country last year, has reached a verbal agreement with the Chicago Cubs on a nine-year contract worth $30 million dollars, according to USA Today.

Jorge Soler

The 6-foot 3, 225-pound power hitter, who was declared a free agent last week, is expected to be a right fielder with five-tool potential.

The Cubs outbid several large-market teams, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cubs, who never bid on free agents like first basemen Albert Pujols last winter, believe Soler will be ready for the big leagues in two or three years.

Soler had previously played for the Cuba’s national baseball team in the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship, where he had a .304 batting average, .500 on-base percentage, and .522 slugging percentage. His nine walks were the second most in the tournament, where Cuba won the bronze. He also briefly played in the Cuban National Series.

The bid for Soler comes months after Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes signed with the Oakland Athletics. The 26-year-old Cuban centerfielder agreed to a four-year, $36 million deal in February.

Concepción Signs Multi-Million Dollar Contract with Chicago Cubs

He’s only 19-years-old… But Gerardo Concepción is one step closer to a career in the major leagues…

The Cuban left-handed pitcher has signed a multi-year contract with the Chicago Cubs worth a reported $7 million, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Gerardo Concepcion

Concepción, last season’s Cuban National Series Rookie of the Year, isn’t expected to jump into the Cubs’ rotation right away though.

“I would not throw him into the major leagues yet,” Concepción’s agent Jaime Torres told The Tribune. “While I think he can make it really fast, he is only 19. But this kid has good stuff, a great makeup and he’s extremely intelligent.”

The baseball phenom defected from Cuba last year during the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands and recently established residency in Mexico—with Major League Baseball declaring him a free-agent last month.

He has been working at a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic to prepare for his big league signing.

In Cuba, Concepción finished the 2010-11 season with a 10-3 win-loss record and a 3.36 earned run average (ERA).

His scouting report lists Concepción at 6’ 2” with a solid command of the fastball, which registers in the low 90-mile per hour range. His arsenal also includes a mean curveball and a change-up.