Astros release former White Sox star Jose Abreu with $30.8 million left on contract

The 37-year-old is a former AL MVP and Rookie of the Year who was hitting only .124 this season.

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Jose Abreu batting for the White Sox during the eighth inning at T-Mobile Park on Sept. 5, 2022 in Seattle.

Jose Abreu batting for the White Sox during the eighth inning at T-Mobile Park on Sept. 5, 2022 in Seattle.

Steph Chambers/Getty Images

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

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 $30.8 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.

Abreu was hoping to stay with the White Sox before joining the Astros.

The Sox made Abreu an offer for 2023, he told the Sun-Times in March 2023, but the writing was on the wall.

He felt disrespected.

“Sometimes,” he said, “when you’re at a place where maybe you’re not being respected to the point where you think you should be, you just have to go somewhere else.”

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