Astros option Jose Abreu to new West Palm Beach

HOUSTON – The Astros will return starting first baseman Jose Abreu to their spring training camp in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday, general manager Dana Brown announced Tuesday, extending a three-game losing streak. All-Star and former American League MVP winner.

Abreu, 37, is in the second year of a three-year, $58.5 million contract, making it impossible for the Astros to cut ties with him early in the season. He recorded just seven hits in his first 71 at-bats, striking out 18 times And 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, members of the Astros' coaching staff and front office. Because Abreu has more than five years of major-league service time, he must give his consent before being selected.

“Jose Abreu is a great guy. He's unselfish and he's a teammates guy and he wants to get back to what he was doing last fall,” Brown said. “in the middle In this conversation, you can see that this person is passionate and committed to helping this team again. He selflessly stayed on board and agreed to return to West Palm Beach.

Brown did not provide a timetable for Abreu's return to the majors leagues But it is announced that it will stay for a long time. Brown said he could fly to Florida to monitor Abreu's progress along with senior adviser Jeff Bagwell and farm director Jacob Buffa.

“He was frustrated. He wore it,” Brown said. “If you've been around these athletes for any number of years, you can tell when they're frustrated. You take it home. Sometimes you think they don't take it home, but they do. He became desperate. It is rare to do that, but it tells us about his dedication and commitment. We don't see this as a long-term thing, nor do I think he sees it as a long-term thing. I think it's like, 'let's go down, let's make some adjustments, let's get the rhythm and timing back.'

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Abreu did not report to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday and was therefore unavailable for comment. Because the move didn't become official until Wednesday, Houston couldn't make the move and played in the series opener on Tuesday. A player short against the Cleveland Guardians.

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

In 163 games from, Abreu is slashing .221/.280/.352 and has a negative-1.4 wins above replacement value, according to Baseball-Reference. A resurgence last September at least gave Abreu hope that he could produce a similar turnaround this season.

Already 10 games and 6 ½ games under .500 in the American League West, the Astros can't wait any longer. They entered Tuesday's game against the Guardians with a .390 OPS from their first basemen. Abreu was prone to defensive miscues that made the Astros' decision easier.

“It's hard for a veteran to watch,” Brown said. “When you see him go this way, you know we have to fix this guy, which is hard to fix at the major-league level. We can do different things at the minor-league level.

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(Photo: MLB Photos via Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

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