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Astros Eat $30 Million, Release Jose Abreu Anyway

Jose Abreu
(Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports)

The former MVP has been cut by the Houston Astros.

The Houston Astros announced today that they are releasing first baseman Jose Abreu from his contract. The club will still owe him $30.8 million of a three-year contract, despite Abreu completing less than half of it. Astros general manager Dana Brown struggled with the decision, saying “It’s always tough when a deal doesn’t work out.” Though his time in Houston was short, Abreu had become a very well-liked figure in the clubhouse. Astros manager Joe Espada holds Abreu in high regard, and has “nothing but good things to say about him.” To his credit, Abreu apparently took the news well.

The release comes as little surprise. Abreu’s production has fallen off a cliff, and then exploded at the bottom of that cliff and stayed there. He won AL ROTY in 2014. During his (albeit shortened) 2020 AL MVP season, he slashed .317/.370.617 with 19 HR. Since joining the Astros in 2023, Abreu’s numbers have dwindled to pathetic levels. He hit .237 in his first year with Houston. In 2024, he has only managed an unreal .124/.167/.195 with 2 HR.

The hits just will not stop coming for the Houston Astros. A little over a week ago, the team announced that not one, but two of their pitchers would be undergoing elbow surgery. Justin Verlander began the year injured. Now, they’re dumping millions to get a guy off the team. It seems like all the stars (or trash cans) that aligned to bring the Astros success are now aligning against them. As for Abreu, it’s hard to say where he will go from here. A team could sign him for league minimum, of which Houston would have to foot most of the bill. However, it’s hard to imagine even the most desperate team jumping on a 37-year old hitting less than .150. It’s a tough break for the former MVP.

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