The 2023 MLB free agency opened a few weeks ago and this free agent class is chalk full of top-tier players, ranging from former Cy Young Award-winning starters in Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander to All-Star infielders Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts. The Fantasy Alarm MLB Free Agent Tracker will be keeping you up-to-date with all the breaking news throughout the offseason as players sign this offseason.

Another big name from that list of players went and signed with a new team today. All-Star first basemen José Abreu, who spent his first nine MLB seasons as a member of the Chicago White Sox, will now be joining the World Series champion Houston Astros for the 2023 season. Abreu will boost a first base position that ranked among the worst in baseball last year for the Astros. 


How the José Abreu Signing Impacts the Houston Astros

The first base position has been a pain point for the Astros over the past few seasons and last year it was one of the worst in all of baseball as the team’s first basemen ranked 27th in WAR at -2.6. Houston’s first basemen hit just .235 with an OBP of .285 and an OPS of .656. Yuli Gurriel was the primary first basemen for the Astros last season but he hit just .242 with eight home runs and 53 RBI. He had an awful .288 OBP and just a .647 OPS. In total the Astros first base position hit 14 home runs and produced only 62 RBI which were both the third lowest total in baseball. At the trade deadline the Astros attempted to improve the production at first base by trading for Trey Mancini but Mancini struggled, hitting just .176 with an OPS of .622 with Houston after hitting .268 with an OPS of .751 with the Orioles. 

With Abreu, the Astros are getting a first basemen that hit .304 with an OPS of .824 last season. Sure, his power numbers were way down last season, hitting a career low 15 home runs with just 75 RBI but he was also the league MVP during the Covid shortened year in 2020 and in 2021 he hit 30 homers with 117 RBI. The Astros would love if Abreu would see a spike in power numbers, especially with Minute Maid Park being a right-handed power hitters haven with that short left field but if he could just continue to hit close to .300 with an .800 OPS he would be a marketable upgrade over those who started for the team last season at first base.

How the José Abreu Signing Impacts the Chicago White Sox

With José Abreu now in Houston the White Sox depth chart shows Andrew Vaughn as their top candidate to play first base. Vaughn started 22 games at first base last season and had a strong sophomore season which saw him hit .271 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI and an OPS of .750. Vaughn is a former Top 20 prospect in baseball and offers tremendous offensive upside as a replacement for Abreu in the White Sox lineup. 



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