The Astros sign Jose Altuve to a five-year extension

The Astros sign Jose Altuve to a five-year extension

Jose Altuve He stays in Houston. The Astros have signed the former MVP to a five-year extension covering the 2025-29 seasons, the Astros announced. Altuve, a Boras client, is reportedly $125 million guaranteed. He will receive a $15 million signing bonus. Altuve’s previous deal called for a $26 million salary in 2024 which still stands. He’s now due $30 million annually between 2025-27 and straight $10 million figures from 2028-29. He was scheduled to hit free agency next offseason.

It is not surprising to see the two sides come together to reach an agreement. Dana Brown was hired as the club’s general manager in January 2023 and almost immediately spoke on the record about his hope that the club could lock up key players, including Altuve. Shortly thereafter, he said Altuve “should stay in Houston for life.” Just two days later Altuve himself said: “I hope to retire here, so I think we’re on the same page.” In March, Brown tapped the brakes a bit, saying that extension talks would likely be delayed until after the 2023 campaign, with a deal now coming to fruition. This new extension runs during Altuve’s 39 season.

This is the third time Altuve and the Astros have signed an extension, keeping him with the team as several others have come and gone. Fair or unfair, it has made him the face of the franchise, which is a double-edged sword. For the club’s supporters, it offers a line from their miserable rebuilding years at the start of the last decade to their recent astonishing run of success, which includes a pair of World Series titles and seven straight ALCS appearances. For many others in the baseball world, his accolades are still tarnished by the 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

Whatever one feels about Altuve’s legacy, there is no doubt that he remains one of the best offensive players in the sport as he enters his age-34 season. An unusually poor performance during the shortened 2020 season looked like it might signal the beginning of a decline. This was not the case. Altuve rebounded with 31 homers and hit .278/.350/.489 in 2021. He’s been better over the past two seasons. He had a .300/.387/.533 clip with 28 homers through 604 trips to the plate two seasons ago.

A broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch in the World Baseball Classic last year kept Altuve out for the first two months of the 2023 season. He returned in mid-May, and while his season was halted again in July due to a mild oblique strain, he was no worse than Where wear when he was able to enter the field. Altuve ran a stellar .335/.404/.544 line in the second half and finished the year with a .311/.393/.522 mark in 410 plate appearances. He concluded with another stellar playoff performance, hitting four home runs while hitting .286 in 11 games.

Since the start of the 2021 campaign, Altuve has a batting average of .294/.374/.513. This offensive productivity is 47 percentage points better than the league average, as measured by wRC+. This is easily the best batting performance of any second baseman and a top 10 mark among all qualified hitters. Altuve remains as tough as ever and has posted a career-high two walk averages in a season over the past two years.

To the extent that the eight-time All-Star has shown any signs of aging, it’s limited to the other side of the ball. Altuve has never been a great defensive second baseman. Its business has declined in recent years, although the extent of this decline varies depending on the scale. Statcast rates Altuve around league average. On the other hand, his Defensive Runs Saved estimates show he has been 28 points worse than the average defensive second baseman over the past two years.

This isn’t a huge concern for Houston as they retain one of the best players in franchise history for what will likely be the rest of his career. By the time the deal is up, Altuve will have spent parts of 19 years in a Houston uniform. Whether the Astros can maintain the kind of team success they’ve had over the past eight years for the rest of the decade remains to be seen. Houston has a number of key players approaching free agency over the next season or two.

Alex Bregman It will hit the open market a year from now. Kyle Tucker And Framber Valdez They have two seasons left to control officiating. They succeeded in trapping Altuve, Christian Javier And Yordan Alvarez On extensions and has over three years of control over the likes Hunter Brown, Jeremy Rock And Yanier Diaz. There could be some change if Bregman, Tucker and Valdez leave, but the Astros are trying to make sure the window doesn’t close completely.

Altuve’s extension will not impact their 2024 salary obligations, but some or all of the signing bonus could be paid this year. Houston already had a record level of spending with a projected 2024 payroll approaching $240 million, per List Resource. They now have over $115 million on the books in ’25 and over $100 million in liabilities to Altuve, Alvarez, and Javier, Josh Hader And Lance McCullers Jr For the year 2026.

KPRC 2’s Ari Alexander It first reported a $125 million guarantee. USA Today Bob Nightingale I mentioned the specific salary structure.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports.

(Marks for translation) Jose Altuve

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