Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros and second baseman Jose Altuve haven’t had any talks about a contract extension. Altuve is potentially under team control through 2019 at a very affordable sum of $20.5 million.
However, the Royals recently gave catcher Salvador Perez a new contract extension, replacing his previous contract that paid him significantly below market value. There is some thought that the Astros would — and some would argue should — do the same for Altuve.
Altuve, 25, led the majors in batting average in 2014 with a .341 mark and followed up with another productive year this past season. He hit .313/.353/.459 with 15 home runs, 66 RBI, and 86 runs scored. He led the American League in stolen bases (38) and hits (200). Over the past two seasons, only Ian Kinsler (11.6) has compiled more Wins Above Replacement than Altuve (10.5), according to Baseball Reference.
So it makes sense that the Astros might want to keep him around longer than the next four seasons. But the club hasn’t had an Opening Day payroll above $90 million since 2010, and is currently just shy of that mark heading into this season, per Cot’s Contracts.