The Houston Astros are World Champions, and thanks in part to the best offense in baseball, this team was able to capture their first World Series in franchise history. Perhaps the leader of their offense, Jose Altuve, was a big reason this team was able to have so much success in their lineup.
Altuve has been a staple in the Astros lineup for years, and with free agency looming in a couple of years, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow will have a big decision on his hands in trying to keep the cornerstone of this franchise around for the long haul. While the Astros at the current time aren’t in a rush to extend any of their core pieces in their lineup, exploring an extension with Altuve should be a consideration.
It’s without a doubt that Altuve, who led the league in batting average for the 3rd time in the last 4 years this past season, will score a massive contract, whether that’s through free agency(2019-20 offseason) or through an extension. He also led the entire league with an 8.3 WAR, once again proving he is one of the best in the game. He should win the AL MVP this year(Aaron Judge will give him a run for his money).
When taking this into account, Altuve has also been a huge bargain for the Astros. Due in part to signing an early career extension, Altuve is making just $6MM in 2018 and will make $6.5MM in 2019 due to a club option that the team will surely pickup.
When he becomes a free agent in the 2019-20 offseason, Altuve will turn 30 years old and if he continues the pace he’s on, along with the fact that salaries continue to increase in the league for star players signing big contracts, Altuve could be in for one of the biggest contracts in MLB history.
Needless to say, locking up Jose Altuve would be a smart decision by the Houston front office, but at the same time, it will cost a pretty penny to keep him around. It’s a bold prediction, but I would say an 8-year deal worth between $210-$220MM would seal the deal. Potentially more if he hits the open market in a few years.