The Astros signed Jose Altuve to a five-year extension

Jose Altuve Located in Houston. The Astros announced the signing of the former MVP to a five-year extension that covers the 2025-29 seasons. Altuve, a client of Boras Corporation, is reportedly guaranteed $125MM. He will collect a $15MM signing bonus. Altuve's previous contract called for a $26MM salary through 2024. He is now due $30MM annually between 2025-27 and $10MM from 2028-29. He was scheduled to reach free agency next season.

It wouldn't be surprising to see the two sides come together on a deal. Dana Brown was hired as the club's general manager in January 2023 and immediately went on the record about how he hopes the club can lock down key players, including Altuve. Shortly after, Altuve said he wanted to “be in Houston for the rest of his life.” It wasn't until two days later that Altuve said, “I hope to retire here, so I think we're on the same page.” Brown pumped the brakes a bit in March, saying extension talks would be pushed until after the 2023 campaign, and now that a deal is done. This new extension will run through Altuve's age-39 season.

This is the third time Altuve and the Astros have signed an extension, keeping him with the team as many have come and gone. Fairly or unfairly, it has made him the owner's face, a double-edged sword. For the club's supporters, he offers an incredible run of recent success since their bleak rebuilding years at the start of the previous decade, including a pair of World Series titles and seven straight ALCS appearances. For many around baseball, his accolades have been tarnished by the 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

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However one feels about Altuve's legacy, there's no doubt he'll be one of the game's best offensive players as he enters his age-34 campaign. An oddly bad showing in a shortened 2020 season could mark the beginning of a slump. It wasn't like that. Altuve hit 31 homers and hit .278/.350/.489 in 2021. He has been even better in the last two seasons. He racked up a .300/.387/.533 clip with 28 homers with 604 trips two seasons ago.

A broken thumb suffered by being hit by a pitch in last year's World Baseball Classic kept Alduve out for the first two months of the 2023 season. He returned in mid-May, and although his season was again interrupted by a mild oblique strain in July, he was not worn when he took the field. Altuve ran a stellar .335/.404/.544 line in the second half and finished the year with a .311/.393/.522 mark in 410 plate appearances. He hit .286 in 11 games while hitting four home runs, capping off another fine playoff run.

Since the start of the 2021 campaign, Altuve is a .294/.374/.513 hitter. That offensive productivity is 47 percentage points better than the league average as measured by wRC+. That's the best hitting performance by any second baseman and a top-10 mark among all qualified batters. Altuve is as difficult to strike out as ever and has posted two of his highest single-season walk rates in the last two years.

As much as the eight-time All-Star shows no signs of aging, it's only on the other side of the ball. Altuve has never been a great defensive second baseman. His glove has declined in recent years, though the extent of that decline varies by metric. Altuve has graded out at Statcast league average. Defensive runs saved, on the other hand, rates him 28 runs worse than the average defensive second baseman over the last two years.

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That doesn't concern Houston much, as they'll be retaining one of the best players in franchise history for the remainder of his career. By the time the contract expires, Altuve will have spent 19 years in a Houston uniform. It remains to be seen if the Astros can sustain the team's success over the past eight years for the remainder of the decade. Houston has several key players set to hit free agency within the next season or two.

Alex Bregman It will hit the open market in a year. Kyle Tucker And Framber Valdez There are two remaining seasons of referee control. They have successfully locked Altuve, Christian Javier And Yordan Alvarez There is restriction on extensions and three-plus years etc Hunter Brown, Jeremy Rock And Yanner Diaz. If Bregman, Tucker and Valdez leave, there could be some turnover, but the Astros are trying to make sure the window doesn't close completely.

Altuve's extension won't affect his salary debt through 2024, but some or all of his signing bonus could be paid this year. With a 2024 payroll approaching $240MM, Houston already had a franchise-record amount of spending. Catalog resource. They now have $115MM on the books for '25 and over $100MM in commitments for Altuve, Alvarez, Javier, Josh Hader And Lance McCullers Jr By 2026.

KPRC 2's Ari Alexander Originally announced a $125MM guarantee. USA TODAY'S BOB NIGHTENGALE Specific Salary Structure Report.

Image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.

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