Astros Dump Jose Abreu, Eat $30 Million: Why He’s Still Worth a Postseason Flier

Houston Astros' Jose Abreu Gets Congrats in the Dugout

Getty Houston Astros' Jose Abreu Gets Congrats in the Dugout

Now former Houston Astros‘ first baseman Jose Abreu was released on June 14, 2024, amid what can only be described as a miserable excuse for a season.

Not to pile on the guy; nobody feels worse than him. He put in the work, but if you run in thigh-high surf long enough, there comes a time to wave the white flag.

That’s exactly what Houston general manager Dana Brown and the Astros ultimately decided to do. Meanwhile, the 37-year-old Abreu walks with a bag of owed cash totaling just over $30 million from a three-year, $58 million deal he signed that runs through the 2025 season.

The good news is there may be a sunny side up for Jose Abreu and whatever franchise is smart enough to take a league-minimum flier on him. If the 2020 American League MVP can get some of his ducks in a row by September, he could be a project that pays off.

There Are Bad Starts to a Season and Really Bad Starts

The numbers don’t lie; Jose Abreu has a 3 wRC+ and -1.5 fWAR. It’s hard to quantify what we’ve watched transpire in 2024 with the veteran slugger, but it’s real.

After hitting under a buck (.099 batting average) with a .269 OPS in his first month, a mutual concordance had Abreu on his way down to the Astros’ Spring Training complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., in hopes of rediscovering some mojo.

“We think [once] we can get José in this environment, that there’s a lot of good things that can come out of this,” [Astros’ general manager Dana] Brown told “Both sides were in agreement to get this done. We’re actually confident that we can get him down there and work on specific things like rhythm and timing and keeping your head on the ball. … Hopefully, we will have him back up here as soon as possible.”

Abreu eventually returned to the big club, but after a mere 43 plate appearances, the Astros’ front office had seen enough.

Where Does the Aging Star Go Now After His Crash & Burn in Houston?

As I have noted, any team interested in acquiring Jose Abreu wouldn’t even have to get the wallet out. His addition would be pocket change for any of the legit postseason contenders.

Legit as in under 20-1 to win the World Series, in which there are currently six teams (Dodgers 3-1, Yankees 5-1, Phillies 6-1, Braves 7-1, Orioles 8.5-1, Mariners 13-1 & Guardians 14-1).

Other than the New York Yankees, there are a few contenders who could (and should) extend a branch to Abreu and his agent ISE Baseball. Here’s why.

Several Contenders Need Postseason Experience on Their Rosters

There seems to be a sizeable contingent of those who think Jose Abreu is washed up. We heard that chatter at the tail end of Albert Pujols’ amazing career, but pride runs deep in elite athletes such as El Hombre.

Pujols found inspiration at, of all places, a popular All-Star festivities exhibition known as Homerun Derby. Albert, at 42 years of age, proceeded to give us must-see TV over the last 2.5 months of 2022. He captivated the baseball world as he chased 700 home runs, and also statistically challenged Aaron Judge for the best second half along the way.

No, I’m not comparing Jose Abreu to the great Albert Pujols. I am saying Abreu could very well have some tread left on the tires. The guy has shown up in the postseason, including October 2023.

Abreu ran uphill a good portion of 2023, but he emerged in September with 7 home runs and 28 RBI posting a .536 SLUG and .835 OPS after dealing with back problems in August.

Afterwards, in two playoff series vs. the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers, Abreu averaged a .300/.352/.652/.1005 slasher. That was just eight months ago. Eight.

Upon missing a few games during spring training in 2024 with knee pain, the bus simply careened off the mountainside as April unfolded. However, a glance at the entire resume reveals a .306/.375/.542/.917 postseason string with 5 home runs and 18 RBI.

Whoever steps forward and takes a shot on this guy can bide their time in hopefully summoning a fire within the Cuban native as the money months of September and October roll around.  I wouldn’t sleep on Jose Abreu coming alive in crunch time.


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