The Houston Astros have expressed a willingness to lock up young players on long-term deals in the past, and are expected to do the same in the near future. According to reports, the team is interested in extensions with Jason Castro, Matt Dominguez, George Springer and Robbie Grossman, although none of the deals seem imminent.
As of this morning, Dominguez was said by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports to be closing in on a five-year extension worth around $17MM, but sources indicate that nothing is imminent between the two sides. Passan followed up by saying that the deal may take a while to finalize, but that both sides expect a five-year deal with two team options to get done at some point.
Sources indicate that the Astros are not currently engaged with Castro, who they have internal discussions about extending. The sides are likely to talk at some point about a deal for the All-Star catcher, but nothing seems close on that front either.
According to Passan, the Astros have also approached Grossman about an extension, but it is unclear how far the sides have gotten in those discussions. Grossman is not slated to become a free agent until after the 2019 season, but could look to avoid the arbitration process entirely by reaching a deal.
Most notably, Houston offered top prospect George Springer a seven-year, $23MM deal that would cover all of his pre-arbitration and arbitration years as well as one year of free agency, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Springer, who has not yet reached the majors and is expected to be a star at the major league level, turned down the offer with the expectation that he will be worth more after strong performance in the major leagues. Regardless, the team's willingness to explore extensions with players as early on in their careers as Springer signifies that they are excited about their young core.