Houston Astros acknowledge epic free agent failure, cut 3-time All-Star despite still owing him around $30 million

Houston Astros
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros have publicly admitted that the 2023 addition of Jose Abreu was a massive failure and have decided to cut the three-time All-Star loose despite still owing him a huge sum of money.

Heading into the MLB games today, the Astros own a disappointing 31-38 record, are eight games behind the first-place Seattle Mariners, and six out from the final Wild Card spot in the American League. Suffice to say, they have performed well under expectations.

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And there is no better example of that than first baseman Jose Abreu. The 37-year-old Cuban was brought in last season after nine impressive years with the Chicago White Sox where he hit 30 or more home runs on five times. He was expected to be that extra thump to an already good lineup. However, that was never the case.

In 2023, he managed just 18 home runs in 141 games and posted a career-worst slashline of .237/.296/.383/.680. The hope was that it was just a down season and in 2024 he would bounce back. Unfortunately for the Astros things only got worse and he has been at the center of an overall underwhelming performance from the roster.

  • Jose Abreu stats (2024): .124 AVG, .167 OBP, .195 SLG, .361 OPS, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R

After 35 games this season, the long-time slugger made last season’s numbers seem desirable as he posted a ghastly .124/.167/.195/.361 slash line with just two home runs and seven runs batted in. The sizable three-year, $58 million deal he signed forced the team to give him as many chances as possible to turn things around, but it hit a tipping point this week when they designated him for assignment.

However, with the one-time star unlikely to be satisfied with a minor league role, the organization finally decided to throw up the white flag, and it was reported on Friday that they announced Jose Abreu’s release. It is a major decision because Houston is now on the hook for nearly half of that $58 million they gave to him before last season.

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It is just another sad chapter in what has been the rare down season for a Houston Astros franchise that is one of the premier clubs in baseball.

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