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AL West Check-In: Astros release ex-MVP with over $30 million left on contract

Jun 14, 2024, 12:08 PM | Updated: 12:15 pm

Houston Astros José Abreu Seattle Mariners...

José Abreu of the Houston Astros reacts after breaking his bat on March 29, 2024. (Tim Warner/Getty Images)

(Tim Warner/Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros released José Abreu on Friday, cutting ties with the former AL MVP less than halfway through a three-year, $58.5 million contract.

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The 37-year-old Abreu was batting .124 (14 for 113) with two homers and seven RBIs this season, during which he spent time in the minors trying to fix his swing. The Astros still owe him more than $30 million from the deal he signed before last season.

A three-time All-Star during his nine years with the Chicago White Sox, Abreu was named MVP during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 2014 after defecting from his native Cuba the previous year.

His production dropped off significantly with the Astros. He batted .237 last year, the lowest average of his career, with 18 homers and 90 RBIs.

Abreu is a career .283 hitter with 263 homers and 960 RBIs in 11 seasons.

Houston owes him $30,822,504, including $11,322,504 remaining from this year’s salary and $19.5 million for 2025. Any team can sign him for a prorated share of the $740,000 major league minimum, with the Astros responsible for the rest.

The Astros, winners of every American League West title except one since 2017, entered Friday with a 31-38 record for third place in the division – eight games back of the first-place Seattle Mariners.

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AL West Check-In: Astros release ex-MVP with over $30 million left on contract