The Houston Astros have signed reigning MVP Jose Altuve to a long term contract which is likely to keep him in Houston for the rest of his career. The team has not yet confirmed the report. The 5 year, $150 million contract would begin in 2020 after his current contract expires. Jose has previously said that he would like to play for one team, the Astros, over his career. If that happened, he would join the Astros only two Hall of Famers, Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio, as lifetime players for the Astros.
This deal will be the biggest contract in club history, substantially outdistancing Carlos Lee’s $100 million contract in 2007. The contract will also place Altuve among the select group of major league players who will earn more than $30 million annually. However, Jose will continue to earn $6 million per year this season and in 2019 under his current contract. That contract turned out to be very club-friendly, and Altuve’s patience under that contract is rewarded with a larger contract that takes him to age 34.
Altuve has exhibited power, batting average, and speed in the batting lineup, and rightfully can be viewed as the heart of the team. Over the years, he has improved his defense, and provides a solid glove at second base. Jose may well be a future Hall of Famer—depending, of course, on how well he performs in the next few years. It’s not out of question that he could join second baseman Craig Biggio in the Hall. Several years ago, I speculated that Altuve could become a Rod Carew type player. That seemed very optimistic at the time, given Carew’s Hall of Fame career. Now? Not so wild a possibility.