UPDATE (Mar. 19) — The Astros have officially announced Altuve’s extension.
The Astros are close to a finalizing a five-year extension with second baseman Jose Altuve that will begin in 2020 and run through 2024, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. The deal will pay Altuve a $30.2 million AAV — $151 million in total — according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Altuve has a $6.5 million club option for 2019 that the Astros will obviously pick up as they choose to extend him for the long term.
Altuve, a five-time AL All-Star, finally won his first AL MVP Award in 2017 after several deserving seasons. The .316/.362/.453 career hitter posted a career-best .346/.410/.547 slash line in 2017 with 24 homers and 32 steals. The 27-year-old won the AL batting title for the second straight year while winning his fourth straight Silver Slugger Award and his first World Series ring.
With Altuve in the fold long-term, most of the Astros’ core figures to stay intact for the foreseeable future. Dallas Keuchel and Marwin Gonzalez are free agents after this season and Justin Verlander’s contract is up following the 2019 campaign, but Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, George Springer, Lance McCullers, and Ken Giles are locked up into the early part of the next decade.
Altuve’s extension is an extreme rarity for a Scott Boras client, as the players the veteran agent represents are notorious for testing the free-agent market (and succeeding in earning monster contracts, for the most part). But after a trio of Boras clients endured disaster offseasons — Carlos Gonzalez went back to the Rockies on a one-year, $5 million deal plus incentives after rejecting a four-year extension the spring before; Greg Holland rejected his $15 million player option, a $17.4 million qualifying offer, and a three-year, $52 million extension from the Rockies and remains on the free-agent market, and Mike Moustakas rejected a $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Royals and eventually went back to Kansas City on a one-year, $6.5 million deal plus incentives — the agent may be more cautious when his clients are offered long-term extensions moving forward.