The Houston Astros announced Monday a five-year contract extension with second baseman Jose Altuve that will keep the newly minted World Series champion and reigning American League MVP with the club through the 2024 campaign.
"This is our franchise player, and he's getting better every year," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Quite frankly, this (extension) is something we've discussed every year for the past three years, it just all came together this year. This is the perfect timing for our franchise."
Altuve's new deal kicks in following the 2019 campaign and will pay him $151 million, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, making his extension the biggest deal in franchise history. His contract also includes a full no-trade clause.
The annual average value ($30.2 million) of the extension, moreover, will thrust the 27-year-old into the game's uppermost earning bracket, making him the fifth-highest-paid player on a per-year basis, behind only Zack Greinke ($34.4M), Miguel Cabrera ($31M), David Price ($31M), and Clayton Kershaw ($30.7M), barring any opt-outs or additional, more lucrative deals.
Signed by the Astros for a mere $15,000 in 2007, Altuve has already cemented his status as one of the greatest players in franchise history, as the undersized Venezuela native has earned five All-Star nominations, three batting titles, four Silver Sluggers, one Gold Glove award, and, most recently, an AL MVP award and World Series championship since debuting with the club in 2011. Last year, he finished second in the league in WAR (7.5), behind only Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, while hitting .346/.410/.547 - all career highs - with 24 homers and 32 stolen bases in 153 games. He continued to rake in the postseason, going 22-for-71 (.310) with seven homers - three of them coming in Game 1 of the American League Division Series - to help propel the Astros to their first-ever World Series title.
Since becoming an everyday player in 2012, when the Astros' rebuild was still in its infancy, Altuve has provided more value than every second baseman except Robinson Cano, hitting .319/.366/.459 over that span while averaging 14 homers, 39 doubles, 37 steals, and 154 games per season.
"He's one of the best I've ever seen," Astros catcher Brian McCann recently told Heyman. "He's got all the intangibles. Talent aside, he has the drive to be great. He's always trying to get better. It's impressive to watch on a daily basis."