The Houston Astros have avoided arbitration with All-Star and World Series MVP George Springer.
Coming off the best season of his four-year career, Houston Astros outfielder George Springer has cashed in and has agreed to a contract that will carry into his final year of arbitration eligibility. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Springer’s new deal is worth $24 million over the next two years.
Springer had filed for arbitration at $10.5 million, with the Astros countering at $8.5 million. The deal represents a middle ground between Springer’s demand for this season and what he would have been likely to earn in 2019. He will have one final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent after the 2020 season.
Last season was the best of Springer’s career. He was named to the All-Star Game for the first time and won the Silver Slugger. The 28-year-old hit .283/.367/.522 with 34 home runs and 85 RBI in 140 games. Springer saved his best for the playoffs and won the World Series MVP after batting .379/.471/1.000 with three doubles, five home runs and seven RBI.
Entering his fifth MLB season, Springer continues trending in the right direction. He significantly reduced his strikeout rate last year and has emerged as one of the most explosive leadoff hitters in the game. Springer also continues to be rated well by the advanced defensive metrics.
Getting this deal done is just the latest in a long string of team-friendly contracts the Astros have been able to negotiate with their stars. Springer likely left a few million dollars on the table by giving up his rights to arbitration next year, but has given himself a measure of insurance against injuries. With both sides coming together to work out an extension this winter, momentum may begin building toward a longer-term deal.