Last year, the Houston Astros made it pretty clear that it was about the time that new contracts would be rolling around to protect the players that they wanted to build for the future with. The first piece of that puzzle was obviously Jose Altuve, whose four-year deal was a welcome sign to all Astros fans, proving that it was time for the Astros to start focusing on the here and now.
Aside from that deal though, none were made. Although, if rumors are to be trusted, some others were attempted.
Reports are circulating that the Astros offered top outfield prospect George Springer a seven-year, $23 million deal that would have bought out his three-year arbitration period. However, Springer declined.
It’s hard not to read too much into this, especially given that Springer has had a very lackluster Spring Training and in all likelihood, won’t make the Opening Day roster. At 24 years of age, it’s getting down to crunch time for the five-tool prospect.
Neither parties would comment on the rumored deal; all Springer would say was that he wanted to talk baseball. Clearly, Springer is of the belief that his play will earn him a much bigger contract, money-wise, than the Astros were willing to offer based solely on minor league performance. That’s a fair assessment if all the hype is to prove true and Springer turns out to be the next great thing in Houston.
Whatever the case, the positives out of this scenario are that the Astros clearly trust Springer’s potential, Springer trusts his own potential, and the Astros don’t want to lose him.