By 10:59 p.m. CT on Wednesday, team must decide whether they should offer, or "tender," contracts to players who are eligible for arbitration or are on a club's 40-man roster who aren't arbitration eligible. If not tendered, players will become a free agent.
The players are arbitration-eligible with at least three years of service time (or two with super-two status) and no more than six years of service. The Astros have eight players that fit that description: Chris Carter, Jason Castro, Hank Conger, Josh Fields, Evan Gattis, Marwin Gonzalez, Dallas Keuchel, and Luis Valbuena.
If the Astros choose to tender any of these players, they will then head to arbitration, unless the Astros reach a deal before hand with the players. Let's take a look at each players:
2015 Stats -- .199 (78x391) 50 R, 17 2B, 24 HR, 64 RBIs, 57 BB, 151 K, .307 OBP, .427 SLG, .734 OPS, 0.3 fWAR 0.8
MLB Rumors' projected Arbitration Number -- $5.6MM
Chris Carter has been a frustrating case for most Astros fans. At times he's been a home run machine at times and a strikeout machine other times. Carter has tremendous amount of discipline at the plate, but tends to swing and miss at pitches in the zone. He improved his receiving skills at first base, but he wasn't a defensive advantage. Even with his struggles, Carter still posted a 101 wRC+ in 2015.
2015 Stats -- .211 (71x337) 38 R, 19 2B, 11 HR, 31 RBIs, 33 BB, 115K, .283 OBP, .365 SLG, .648 OPS, 1.3 fWAR
MLB Rumors' projected Arbitration Number -- $4.6MM
Jason Castro has been the Astros' starting catcher for the past few seasons, he hasn't found the same offensive success he had in years past. Castro has been one of the best defensive catchers in baseball -- throwing out 36.4 percent of runners this season.
2015 Stats -- .229 (46x201) 25 R, 11 2B, 11 HR, 33 RBI, 23 BB, 63 K, .311 OBP, .448 SLG, .759 OPS, 0.5 fWAR
MLB Rumors' projected Arbitration Number -- $1.8MM
The Astros traded for Conger the previous offseason, sending catcher Carlos Perez and RHP Nick Tropeano to Los Angeles Angels for Conger. He brought some pop to the catching position, but it may not be enough to hold a post with four catchers on the 40-man roster.
2015 Stats -- 4-1, 3.55 ERA, 50.2 IP, 20 R, 20 ER, 19 BB, 67 K, 1.14 WHIP, 2.19 FIP, 3.33 xFIP, 1.3 fWAR
MLB Rumors' projected Arbitration Number -- $800K.
Josh Field had a 'meh' season, he has a talent that isn't found elsewhere in the Astros bullpen -- an electric fastball. I struggle to think the Astros would punt on his skills.
2015 Stats -- .246 AVG (139x566), 66 R, 20 2B, 11 3B, 27 HR, 88 RBI, 30 BB, 119 K, .285 OBP, .463 SLG, .748 OPS, 0.0 fWAR
MLB Rumors' projected Arbitration Number -- $3.4MM
The Astros made a big splash this offseason grabbing Evan Gattis, sending RHP Mike Foltynewicz, 3B Rio Ruiz and RHP Andrew Thurman for Gattis and RHP James Hoyt. Gattis spent much of the season as the Astros' designated hitter, struggling for long stretches of the season. Most likely it's either Gattis or Carter going untendered minus a trade, and likely Gattis will be the one that stays.
2015 Stats -- .279 (96x344), 44 R, 18 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 34 RBI, 16 BB, 74 K, 4 SB, .317 OBP, .442 SLG, .759 OPS, 1.5 fWAR
MLB Rumors' projected Arbitration Number -- $1.9MM
Marwin Gonzalez proved he was a major league level utility man, playing all over the diamond and hitting well enough to fight for regular playing time. At $1.9 million, he's a steal.
2015 Stats -- 20-8, 2.48 ERA, 33 GS, 232.0 IP, 68 R, 64 ER, 17 HR, 51 BB, 216 K, 1.02 WHIP, 2.91 FIP, 2.75 xFIP, 6.1 fWAR
MLB Rumors' projected Arbitration Number -- $6.4MM
I'm only doing this because I have to complete the eight players. Keuchel won the 2015 Cy Young Award, come on.
2015 Stats -- .224 (97x434), 62 R, 18 2B, 25 HR, 56 RBIs, 50 BB, 106 K, 1 SB, .310 OBP, .438 SLG, .748 OPS, 1.2 fWAR
MLB Rumors' projected Arbitration Number -- $5.8MM
Luis Valbuena was a major league third baseman that struck out a lot and hit home runs. $5.8 million is a lot for Valbuena but it will be tough to walk away from after trading Dexter Fowler this past offseason.