The Houston Astros Are Reportedly Signing Jose Abreu (Updates)

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The Houston Astros Are Reportedly Signing Jose Abreu (Updates)

Chicago Cubs

Dang it. Dang it all the way to gosh darn heck. Free agent first baseman – and noted Cubs target – Jose Abreu is signing with the Houston Astros.

The Cubs, who *really* need to add offense in general this offseason, but specifically from the left side of the plate, seemed like a really good fit for Abreu. He could have played first base and DH, without necessarily blocking anyone in particular. And as such, they were connected to him quite a bit early on in November. But as the weeks continued, his market expanded and the Astros clearly stepped up with an offer and opportunity he couldn’t pass up.

Now, Abreu will play for the first non-White Sox team in his entire MLB career. And the Cubs will have to move on to the next target on their list.

UPDATE I: Ken Rosenthal has since confirmed the deal, and Bob Nightengale has additional details. It seems pretty likely to me that the Astros willingness to go to three years was the difference-maker here.

Besides the Cubs, the Padres were heavily involved in the Jose Abreu market. So we’ll see how and where they’ll turn their attention now in light of this deal. From what I remember, a reunion with Josh Bell wasn’t seen as particularly likely for San Diego. And in free agency, there’s a pretty big drop off from there, especially with Rizzo and Abreu off the board. Basically, it’s Bell and Trey Mancini, but the former had a rough second-half and the latter is a righty who hasn’t been much of a full-season offensive threat in a few years.

UPDATE II: Do I understand why the Cubs wouldn’t be willing to do three years and $60 million for Abreu? Sure. That’s pretty much the max of what anyone was projecting for him this offseason (in both years and AAV (he did really well)). And do I think the Astros were going to do whatever it took to get their guy (after whiffing on Rizzo)? Yeah. That’s true too. But at some point, the Cubs are going to have to spend more than anyone else. That’s kind of the only way you sign good players….

In other words, we can always play the “He isn’t worth quite that much” game, but at some point, someone has to be worth it. And I have no shame in admitting that I’m a little impatient right now. Not just relative to this offseason, but the last few years in general. The Cubs have so much offense to add. Abreu was a good fit. Now he’s gone.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami