May 21, 2024

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The Astros optioned Jose Abreu to rookie level West Palm Beach

The Astros optioned Jose Abreu to rookie level West Palm Beach

HOUSTON — The Astros will option struggling first baseman Jose Abreu to their spring training complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, extending a stunning three-run collapse, general manager Dana Brown announced Tuesday. all Stars And former winner of the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

Abreu, 37, is in the second year of a three-year, $58.5 million contract, making it nearly impossible for the Astros to cut ties with him so early in the season. He recorded just seven hits in his first 71 at-bats, striking out 18 times And It can no longer be used as a daily player.

The two sides agreed to the decision after what Brown described as a “great” conversation with Abreu and members of the Astros' coaching staff and front office. Since Abreu has more than five years of major league service, he must give his approval before he can be optioned.

“Jose Abreu is an exceptional human being. He is unselfish and he is his teammates guy and wants to get back to what he was doing last fall,” Brown said.In the midst of In this conversation, you can see that this guy is excited and determined to come back and help this team. He was selflessly on board and agreed to return to West Palm Beach.

Brown did not provide a timetable for Abreu's return to the specialty Leagues But he indicated that it would be an extended stay. Brown said he may travel to Florida to monitor Abreu's progress, along with senior advisor Jeff Bagwell and farm manager Jacob Bova.

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It was frustrating. “He was wearing it,” Brown said. “If you've been around these athletes for a number of years, you can tell when they're getting frustrated. You take it home with you. Sometimes you think they're not taking it home with them, but they take it home with them. He got to the point where he got frustrated. It's rare “For him to do that, but it tells us about his dedication and commitment. I don't think we see this as a long-term thing or he sees it as a long-term thing. I think it's more like 'let's go down, let's make some adjustments, let's get the rhythm and timing back'.”

Abreu did not report to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday and was therefore not available for comment. Since the move is not official until Wednesday, Houston was unable to make a corresponding move and play the series opener on Tuesday vs. Cleveland Guardians shortstop.

In an ESPN story Tuesday morning, Abreu said in Spanish that he was “embarrassed” about his meager production since arriving in Houston. The contract he signed last winter was, at the time, the largest of Jim Crane's ownership.

In 163 matches since, Abreu has slashed .221/.280/.352 and, according to Baseball Reference, was worth 1.4 negative wins above replacement. A resurgence last September offered at least some hope that Abreu could engineer a similar turnaround this season.

Already 10 games under .500 and 6 1/2 games in the American League West, the Astros couldn't wait much longer. They entered Tuesday's game against Guardian with a .390 OPS as their first baseman. Abreu became more vulnerable to defensive errors, which made the Astros' decision easier.

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“It's hard to watch a veteran player go through that,” Brown said. “When you watch him go through that ordeal and you know we need to fix this guy, it's hard to fix him at the major league level. We can do a lot of different things at the minor league level.”

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(Photo: Daniel Cherry/MLB Images via Getty Images)