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The Houston Astros have released struggling veteran first baseman José Abreu, the club announced on Friday. The move comes despite the fact that Abreu is owed the balance of a $19.5 million salary for this season and also owed $19.5 million for the 2025 season. 

Abreu, 37, was unable to find an adequate level of production both before and after a late-April demotion all the way down to the rookie-level Florida Complex League. Abreu batted .099/.156/.113 for Houston through the first 22 games of the season, which led to the unconventional move. "I was wrong on my swing," Abreu said of the struggles that led up to the reassignment to Florida. "The games sped up on you too much and sometimes it's tough to see where you're at. I saw videos and everything, but I didn't see it. But now, [hitting coach Alex Cintrón], [retired outfielder Michael] Brantley, [advisor and Hall of Famer Jeff] Bagwell, Rene [Rojas, assistant hitting coordinator], we all have a good group and we found it. I hope I can show it right away, but it's baseball and it's a process. Hopefully, I can get there."

After returning to Houston roughly a month later, however, Abreu was still unable to author the necessary improvements. In the 13 games since he made it back to the active roster, he slashed just .167/.186/.333 with two home runs. It seems general manager Dana Brown and the rest of the Astros' decision-makers had seen enough. 

If this marks the end of Abreu's MLB career, then he steps away with a career slash line of .283/.345/.488 (128 OPS+) with 263 home runs in parts of 11 seasons. In 2020, Abreu was voted American League MVP as a member of the White Sox, the team that originally signed him out of Cuba prior to the 2014 season. 

With Abreu's time at an end in Houston, Jon Singleton figures to carry on as the Astros' primary at first base. The disappointing Astros, losers of three of their last four, enter Friday night's series opener against the Tigers with a record of 31-38.