Astros second baseman Jose Altuve went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI single in Sunday’s regular season finale, a loss in New York to the Mets. Altuve ends the season with a .341 average, six points ahead of Victor Martinez in second place, to win the AL batting title. Martinez went 0-for-3 in the Tigers’ AL Central-clinching 3-0 win against the Twins. Altuve, the first batting champion from the Astros, also tied for the second-most steals in baseball with Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton at 56.
On the National League side of things, Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau did not start for a second consecutive game but won the batting title anyway. His competition, Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison, went 0-for-4 in the Pirates’ 4-1 loss to the Reds. Harrison’s average dropped to .315, four points behind Morneau. Morneau’s .319 average is the lowest for a batting champion since Terry Pendleton hit the same in 1991.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.