The news that Jose Altuve had agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Astros was not unexpected but I'm sure it was met with a sigh of relief from most Houston fans. The little second sacker, who has been around for the downs and ups with the Spacemen since 2011, never was intending to go anywhere else. Even though he was represented by super agent Scott Boras, Altuve was never going to drive a hard bargain.
Altuve: An Astro for life
(c) Fox Sports
The extension helps the Astros map their course for the next five years and how they can stay close to the luxury tax cap. General Manager Dana Brown may decide that next year (2025), he's going to sacrifice Alex Bregman in order to make room for Framber Valdez and/or Kyle Tucker - two players who will be on a course for free agency if Houston can't sign them to new deals before then. As long as the face of the franchise is still on the roster, Houston fans will be forgiving if there's not enough to pay everyone.
Jose proved he still had the postseason magic in Game 5 of the LCS, drilling a ninth-inning homer to topple the Rangers in Arlington. Unfortunately, the last two games were at Minute Maid where, ironically, the Astros have their hardest time winning.
Other free agent signings will start to fall off the books after 2025 such as Justin Verlander, Jose Abreu, Ryan Pressly and Rafael Montero. Brown will have more freedom to sculpt the payroll in the way he would prefer.
As for Altuve, he'll be able to make a push toward 3,000 hits and a Hall of Fame plaque as long as he can stay healthy and productive during the life of the deal. It will seem like Craig Biggio 2.0 except Altuve has an MVP Award, four league titles and two World Championships to post on his resume. If we're lucky, there will be still more.
- Bob Hulsey