Top prospect George Springer rejected a seven-year, $23 million contract offer from the Astros back in September, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com confirmed. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported the news. It's unclear if there were any further negotiations after that.
The offer is unprecedented because Springer has yet to make his major league debut. The Rays signed Evan Longoria to a six-year, $17.5 million extension only after six big league games, the earliest a player has ever signed a long-term deal. Springer has only played 62 games at the Triple-A level.
A seven-year contract would have bought out Springer's three pre-arbitration years and all three arbitration years in addition to one free agent season. One agent told Rosenthal that Springer could potentially earn $30 million for his three arbitration years alone.
Springer hit .303/.411/.600 with 37 home runs and 45 stolen bases at Double-A and Triple-A last season. He's gone 5-for-31 (.161) with no homers and four steals in spring training. Baseball America ranked Springer as the 18th best prospect in the game last month.
In addition to getting financial security, Springer likely would have opened the 2014 season with Houston had he taken the deal. Instead, he was reassigned to minor league camp on Thursday, presumably so the team can manipulate his service time and keep him for an extra year.
Rosenthal hears the Astros may attempt to sign some of their other top prospects to long-term extensions before they reach the big leagues.