Abreu at 36 Snags Deal Larger Than His Previous Contract At Age 33

The first major free agent is off the board, and first baseman Jose Abreu, entering his age-36 season, has managed to snag a contract from the Houston Astros worth significantly more than his last contract with the Chicago White Sox, at age 33.

Reports have Abreu's deal being for 3-years, $58.5M. In 2020, he signed a 3-year, $50M contract with the ChiSox. That's almost a 20% increase. One of the main differences in his favor in these negotiations is the fact that he now has an American League MVP under his belt (2020). 

Abreu proved this past season that he's still an offensive force, even though his HR totals abated.  

Astros beat writer Chandler Rome notes that in 2022, only 10 qualified hitters averaged a harder exit velocity than Abreu’s 92.2 mph. And of those 10, only  Aaron Judge and Yordan Alvarez (arguably the two top hitters in baseball) had higher batting averages than Abreu's .304. He also had 15 HR and an .824 OPS.

Astros first basemen in 2022 finished 25th in the majors with an OPS of just .656, and 27th in home runs with just 14. Even in an off-year in dingers, Abreu topped that number. 

Any way you slice it, the World Champions improved themselves significantly, thus justifying the high price they were willing to pay for the 36-year-old slugger. 

PHoto: Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports