The Houston Astros and reigning AL MVP Jose Altuve are closing in on a contract extension that will pay the second baseman $150 million over five years, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports is reporting that the two sides have an agreement on a five-year $151-million extension.
Altuve, who is going into his age-28 season, is under contract for 2018 at a salary of $6 million, and his current deal includes a $6.5 million team option for 2019, which the Astros will surely exercise. Per McTaggart, this new contract won't kick in until 2020, which means Altuve will be under contract through the 2024 season, or his age-34 campaign.
Altuve is of course coming off a stellar 2017 season in which he batted .346/.410/.547 with 24 home runs, 39 doubles, 32 stolen bases in 38 attempts, and capable defense at an up-the-middle position. For his career, he owns an OPS+ of 126 across parts of seven big-league seasons. Over that span, he's already racked up 1,250 hits in addition to five All-Star appearances. Given his speed, contact skills, and ability to man a premium defensive position, Altuve figures to age well. In light of all the hits and stolen bases he's already compiled, Altuve's on an early Hall of Fame path. Beyond that, the fact that Altuve is (reportedly) now locked up into his mid-thirties raises the possibility that he'll be an Astros lifer.
Also notable is that Altuve re-hired Scott Boras as his agent in 2016, and Boras has the reputation of not steering his clients to sign extensions. The extremely team-friendly deal that Altuve signed while an Octagon client in 2013 may have made him more willing to push free agency back even further in exchange for this payday, which is comfortably into nine figures.
From the team standpoint, they've locked up a beloved core member of their current championship team and who player who figures to be a franchise legend by the time his time in Houston is done. As well, the Astros after years of running low payrolls can easily afford such an investment.