Astros 3 best options to end the Jose Abreu disaster once and for all

The thought of the defending World Series champion Houston Astros adding Jose Abreu to an already stout lineup was terrifying. Abreu saw his power take a bit of a dip the season prior to him signing a three-year deal with Houston, but still posted a 134 OPS+ and placed 17th in the AL MVP balloting.

The Astros had a need at first base, so Abreu was a natural fit. Unfortunately, he just hasn’t been the same player since signing the contract. He had an abysmal 2023 regular season and after he showed some signs of life in the postseason, he’s been even worse to start this season.

Abreu entered play on Wednesday with four hits in 49 at-bats (.082 BA) with only one extra-base hit (a double) and one RBI. He continued to struggle on Wednesday with a devastating misplay in the field and he was immediately pinch hit for in a tie game.

The Astros fell to 6-14 with their latest loss. One way they can start to turn this ship around is by replacing Abreu. They already hinted at it by hitting Jon Singleton for him. Here are three options for them to consider.

3) The Astros can trade for Josh Bell to replace Jose Abreu

The Miami Marlins are a disaster. They sit at 4-15 on the season after losing two of three at home to the Giants and could already be looking ahead to 2025. This is not what Marlins fans wanted to hear after their shocking postseason appearance last season, but this is the reality of the situation.

The chances of this team recovering are slim with Sandy Alcantara and Eury Perez, the team’s two best pitchers, out for the year. Shorter-term injuries to guys like Jake Burger and Braxton Garrett don’t help either.

With the Marlins looking like clear sellers, Josh Bell is a name for Astros fans to keep an eye on. He’s gotten off to a bad start this season with just a .664 OPS, but that’s still over 400 points higher than Abreu. He’s in the final year of his deal, and barring a sudden hot streak, he wouldn’t cost much to acquire.

Bell is a switch-hitter who, when he gets hot, can be a major contributor. Just last season he had a .818 OPS after getting traded to the Marlins. The bottom line here is he can’t be much worse than Abreu. If it doesn’t work, they can try something else next season. It shouldn’t cost much to get him, and he could easily turn things around when surrounded by better players in a more hitter-friendly ballpark.

2) The Astros can end Brandon Belt’s misery to replace Jose Abreu

Brandon Belt is one of many free agents who has lingered around in free agency longer than he should have, and for whatever reason, he’s still sitting unsigned.

He might be 35 years old, but Abreu is 37! The Astros gave Abreu a three-year deal entering his age 36 season. Giving Belt a one-year deal at that same age is a no-brainer, and that’s all it’d take.

Belt, despite his older age, was fantastic last season for the Blue Jays, slashing .254/.369/.490 with 19 home runs and 43 RBI in 103 games. He was primarily used at DH and only really played against right-handed pitching. Still, he can feast against righties at first base and Houston can still play Abreu against southpaws. Perhaps a lesser role for now can wake Abreu up, and Belt can be a real impact bat.

Again, this comes with little risk and the chance for actual reward. He cannot possibly be worse than Abreu, would come extremely cheap, and can be a game-changer.

1) The Astros can promote Joey Loperfido to replace Jose Abreu

This would be the most intriguing and perhaps the best option that the Astros have. Joey Loperfido put his name on the map with a torrid Spring Training, and has kept that going to begin his season in AAA.

The 24-year-old has hit ten home runs in 15 games and 60 at-bats this season. No, that’s not a typo. He is forcing Houston’s hand.

Loperfido has primarily been an outfielder in his minor league career, but has played some first base this season, potentially to prepare to be an Abreu replacement. Despite his minimal experience at the position, Loperfido has been better than they expected defensively.

If he performs at the big league level, the Astros might have their first baseman not only for 2024, but for the future. At this point, it makes no sense to keep him down. He might provide the spark that the Astros desperately need.

This article was originally published on fansided.com as Astros 3 best options to end the Jose Abreu disaster once and for all.

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