Astros news: George Springer extension only guaranteed $7-8 million

Gregory Shamus

Ken Rosenthal updates his original report on Springer's proposed extension from last September

One of the biggest criticisms of George Springer this spring, especially in the face of his struggles, was that he turned down a lucrative extension offer from the Astros last year that would have put him in the majors much, much sooner.

At the time, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that the extension would be for seven years, worth $23 million. Rosenthal updated that note today, saying the actual number was closer to $7.6 million and would have only covered four years. If Houston picked up all three options on the deal, the number would have risen to $23 million.

In this case, it makes more sense that Springer declined. If he put up even two reasonably successful seasons, he'd be worth more than $8 million by his second arbitration year. As a reference, Hunter Pence made $3.5 million in his first arbitration year and $6.9 million in his second. 

It's still not a perfect decision for Springer, but it does make some sense, given the money involved.

On the flip side, the extension makes much more sense from Houston's perspective. One of the few criticisms I heard of the proposed extension came from people who worried about Springer's potential to bust. Basically, they worried that Springer would turn into Trogdor 2.0, never making enough contact to justify his gaudy salary.

This deal would have protected the Astros from that, while also giving them a cost certainty with one of their few minor leaguers capable of putting up star-level numbers. 

It also shows why there was likely little negotiation. My guess is that Springer's askance for something around $40 million included substantially more than $7 million in those first four years. I doubt the Astros would have been comfortable in paying a player with as risky a future as Springer that well without more team protection.

Thus, the deal fell through.

The last thing I want to point out about this bit of news is that It confirms (for me) that Springer's agents leaked the news. This happens in every sport, but most notably in the NFL, where an agent will leak dollar figures on a deal much richer than the actual deal will entail. Usually, that's because a contract is technically for six years and $50 million, but because of how the deal is structured, it's only a two year, $12 million deal.

Similarly, Springer's agents have more to gain by throwing out the bigger number without word on the options, because it helps them look better for other potential clients. Only later, after the talks were scuttled, do the real numbers come out. 

It's a fascinating button to a story that caused much uproar when it happened. A little bit of context goes a long way, so I'm interested to see if this changes your outlook on the decision/proposed extension. Did the Astros make the right decision? Did Springer? Would you have approved of Houston striking that deal?

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