Houston Astros star second baseman Jose Altuve was scheduled to become a free agent following the 2019 season, but that will no longer be the case after today.
The Astros and the reigning American League MVP have reportedly agreed to a five-year, $151 million contract extension that will start in 2020 and run through 2024. It’s the largest contract extension ever given out by the Astros, surpassing a six-year, $100 million contract the team gave to outfielder Carlos Lee following the conclusion of the 2017 season.
On the extension, Altuve will earn an average annual salary of $30 million per year, making him the sixth player in MLB history to earn a contract with such a luxury. He joins the $30 million average annual salary club that features Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer, David Price, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw, with Manny Machado and Bryce Harper set to join the club following next off-season.
Houston hasn’t announced the deal officially yet, because the two sides are still working to iron out some small details that involve the signing bonuses on the deal, per the Associated Press. Nonetheless, the deal will get done, and become official by the Astros sooner rather than later.
Altuve has formed himself into one of baseball’s best players during his career with the Astros, even with several factors working against him each and every year. He was nearly voted the American League’s unanimous MVP ahead of New York Yankees star Aaron Judge in 2017 after he batted .346/.410/.547 with 24 homers, 81 runs batted in, and 33 stolen bases in 153 regular season games. Altuve was also instrumental in helping the Astros capture their first World Series title in franchise history, as he batted .310/.388/.634 with 7 homers and 14 runs batted in across 18 playoff games.
There’s also a good chance there could be more World Series titles in the Astros’ future, as Altuve is apart of a fantastic young core that features him, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Dallas Keuchel. The accolades will certainly come for Altuve, as he is already a five-time all-star, a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner at second base, and a 2015 Gold Glove Award winner at second base as well.
The 27-year-old is also a three-time American League batting champion, and has led the American League in hits four straight years, becoming the first player to accomplish that. The extension is expected to take Altuve through his age 34 season.
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