Jose Altuve and the Houston Astros have reportedly agreed to a 5 year, $151 million contract extension, per Jon Heyman on Twitter. Altuve, the 2017 A.L. MVP, is under contract for $6 million in 2018, with the Astros holding a 2019 club option for $6.5 million, after which he would have been eligible to become a free agent. This deal will keep Altuve with the Astros through 2024.
Altuve is an interesting player development story, a tiny guy with great hitting skills who was a good story early in his career, but wasn’t that great a player, putting up a 3.0 bWAR in his first two and a half seasons in the league. He’s accumulated 26.9 bWAR in the last four years, however, and has significantly outplayed the 5 year, $18.5M contract (or 6 year, $25M contract, with the option) that he signed prior to the 2014 season.
$30 million per year for Altuve for his age 2020-24 seasons may seem a little steep, but Altuve is the face of the World Series champs, and just from a p.r. standpoint, the Astros couldn’t risk losing him to free agency after 2019. This rewards a homegrown player who has exceeded all expectations, and locks him up so he spends at least the bulk of his career with Houston.