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Mid-Term Thoughts on the 2023 Houston Astros - The Crawfish Boxes -

Astros GM Dana Brown has been candid about the club’s efforts to extend a member of their core ever since he arrived in Houston last winter. Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the first extension the club signed under Brown’s leadership (a five-year deal for right-hander Cristian Javier), and longtime franchise face Jose Altuve agreed to a five-year extension of his own just last week. While attention has generally turned toward third baseman Alex Bregman as he heads into his final year before free agency

Dana Brown hired as general manager of Houston Astros – Houston Public Media

and Houston brass indicates they intend to offer him a long-term extension offer before he reaches the open market, Brown recently made clear that Bregman isn’t the only star hitter the club plans to broach an extension with.

In an appearance on MLB Network Radio today, Brown told hosts Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette that the club plans to discuss a long-term extension with outfielder Kyle Tucker in addition to Bregman. Brown emphasized that there’s no specifically timeline for when those conversations will be held, though he noted that the club has “a little bit more time for Tucker,” who won’t be a free agent until after the 2025 campaign.

Dana Brown hired as general manager of Houston Astros – Houston Public Media

That the club would have interest in extending Tucker is hardly a surprise. Brown identified Tucker alongside Bregman, Altuve, and Framber Valdez as members of the club’s core they were hoping to extend last spring, though the club faced gaps in talks with both Tucker and Valdez before eventually deciding to wait on engaging with Altuve and Bregman until this winter. At the time, Tucker was coming off a stretch of three seasons where he slashed .274/.341/.516 en route to MVP votes in the 2021 and ’22 seasons as well as a Gold Glove award and All Star nod in the latter campaign.

Dana Brown hired as general manager of Houston Astros – Houston Public Media

The price on Tucker’s services figures to have only gone up since last winter. The slugger’s age-26 campaign saw him slash a fantastic .284/.369/.517 in 157 games, falling just one home run short of a 30/30 season. He led the AL with 112 RBI and earned his second consecutive All Star nod, the first Silver Slugger award of his career, and a top-5 finish in AL MVP voting behind Shohei OhtaniCorey SeagerMarcus Semien, and Julio Rodriguez. Tucker and the Astros managed to avoid arbitration last month by agreeing on a $12MM salary for the 2024 campaign, though the sides did not use those negotiations as a vehicle to explore a longer-term arrangement.

Dana Brown hired as general manager of Houston Astros – Houston Public Media

With Tucker just one year away from free agency and coming off the best season of his young career, it could be a challenge for the club to extend the Excel Sports client. Under the ownership of Jim Crane, the Astros have never given out a contract longer than six years, nor one that guarantees more than $150MM. Just one outfielder with a similar pedigree to Tucker have inked long-term deals with between four and five years of service time: slugger Giancarlo Stanton signed a 13-year, $325MM megadeal with the Marlins nearly a decade ago, in November of 2014.

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