The Houston Astros have made multiple moves in free agency, chief among them signing Jose Abreu, but this season’s 2022 World Series champions should also take to sign a couple of their stars before their price goes up.
Pitcher Framber Valdez and right fielder Kyle Tucker both had a strong 2022 season with the Astros and played key roles in the team’s postseason. One of the things Houston has seen over the past few seasons is that they need to lock out their key players early before they hit the open market.
After the Astros won their first World Series in 2017, Houston turned around and struck a deal with Jose Altuve before the 2018 regular season began. The Astros managed to land deals with third baseman Alex Bregman before 2019 seasonwhich closed it until 2024.
Houston sealed Lance McCullers Jr Before the start of the 2021 season. The biggest extension in recent times was the extension of Yordan Alvarez who signed Six-year extension It will keep him in Houston until 2028.
The common theme across all extensions? The Astros did not allow these players access to the open market. Of course there are examples of those who got into free agency and never made it back to Houston – George Springer and Carlos Correa. Gerrit Kohl could also be thrown there, although his circumstances were somewhat different.
Valdez started 31 regular season games for Houston in 2022. The 29-year-old put in his best performance of his entire career, averaging 2.82 ERA He scored 17 wins and only six losses in his 31 starts.
In the postseason, the Dominican Republic native increased his formidable play. Valdez’s ERA dropped to 1.44 in four games against Major League Baseball’s MVP. He struck out 33 batters, and the Astros went 3-0 in the four games he started.
Tucker was able to continue his strong play from 2021 and keep it at the same level in 2022, showing a level of consistency that is always crucial for players looking to stretch.
And he posted the 25-year-old, who will be 26 by the 2023 season. .257 / .330 / .478 In the regular season, he hit 30 home runs, and drove in 107 runs, a career high for Tucker.
During the Astros’ 2022 postseason, Tucker’s hit count dropped to .204/.298/.408, but that’s common for all players in the playoffs. The right-hander out of Tampa, Florida, still managed to hit three homers and lead in six RBI runs for Houston.
On the open market, both players are sure to garner a lot of interest from teams across MLB, particularly from those willing to spend. The San Francisco Giants seemed willing to commit more than $300 million and a 12-year contract to Carlos Correa. New York Mets did.
The Mets have committed more 380 million dollars It’s only on the 2023 payroll, and of course the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees will always be competing to spend money to acquire top talent.
The bottom line is that the Astros should give both Valdez and Tucker extensions this season, or at least some points before they become free agents. While Houston has shown that it is willing to let the major faces pass, the loss of both Valdez and Tucker could be too great a loss to overcome.