Astros' surge after Jose Abreu release is exactly what Yankees fans feared

This is absurd.
Houston Astros v New York Yankees
Houston Astros v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The New York Yankees might not have had a great couple weeks. Series losses to the Red Sox, Braves, Orioles and Mets, especially in the national spotlight, were tough to handle. Giancarlo Stanton and Jasson Dominguez going down with injuries didn't help either.

But don't worry, it gets wrose. Previously, we stupid idiots though it was appropriate to write the Houston Astros off. They were terrible, grasping for straws, dealing with troubling personnel issues, you name it. Just a couple weeks ago, they were probably the worst off "contender" in the sport. Injuries have ravaged their roster and the team has not been without controversy.

The center of such drama was Jose Abreu, who was finally released two weeks ago after being unable to rediscover a semblance of his form. Abreu received MVP votes back in 2022, which was his contract year. In fact, he received MVP votes from 2019-2022. Then, he arrived in Houston.

In 176 games with the Astros, Abreu hit .217 with a .625 OPS and 74 OPS+. His play fully became untenable in 2024 when he hit just .124 with a .361 OPS in 35 games, combined with some really bad defense (-0.3 dWAR, -3 OAA), this year.

Now, the Astros will be paying him more than $30 million to simply "go away." For all the times rival fans laughed at the Yankees for contracts that were sunk costs, it's now our turn ... or is it?

Astros' surge after Jose Abreu release is exactly what Yankees fans feared

What felt even more satisfying for Yankees fans is seeing the reaction from Abreu's teammates. Apparently, the veteran slugger was a valued presence in the clubhouse and greatly respected by his peers, so you can imagine the effect him getting tossed aside might have on everybody else.

But apparently that didn't affect anything! The Astros are now unbeatable. They have won seven straight games as of Thursday. They are 26-15 over their last 41 games. They are back to .500 for the first time since being 0-0. This decision has apparently changed everything in a positive manner, something that almost never happens to the Yankees when they ditch a highly-paid underperformer. Just awesome.

The Yankees have problems of their own, and are 3-9 alongside Houston's resurgence. Anthony Rizzo has been terrible and he's now injured. Gleyber Torres is unwatchable. Nobody can hit outside of Anthony Volpe, Aaron Judge and Juan Soto. Stanton's regularly-scheduled injury has somehow impacted the lineup in ways we could've never imagined.

Oh yeah, and the pitching staff is now the worst in the league. All it took was 10 days and welcoming back the reigning AL Cy Young winner for that to happen.

We guess it's back to sleeping with one eye open, hoping the current slide doesn't spiral into oblivion as the Astros become mega-contenders for the eighth time in eight years.