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Astros and Evan Gattis Agree to Deal Before Hearings, Option for 2017

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Sep 19, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis (11) hits a three run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis (11) hits a three run home run against the Oakland Athletics in the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Astros and Gattis settle on $3.4 million deal for 2016 with team option for 2017

The Houston Astros were unable to reach an agreement last week before the arbitration hearings with Jason Castro; it worked in the favor of the Astros. Castro was seeking a $5.25 million salary for the 2016 season while the Astros offered $5 million. During the arbitration hearings, the independent party can accept either one, but can’t rule towards something in the middle. Through the hearings, Castro will now play for the $5 million salary the Astros offered. With the Astros winning the hearing with Castro, they had to be confident going into the Evan Gattis arbitration hearings that were scheduled for yesterday.

Instead of going in front of the arbitrator to argue the salary, the Astros and Gattis agreed to less than he initially wanted. The Astros offered a $3 million salary, but Gattis was seeking $3.8 million. The Astros and Gattis settled on $3.4 million, which is basically splitting the difference. It was reported that Jeff Luhnow and the Astros were doing a file and go mentality with the arbitration process, but Luhnow squashed that bug at the future season ticket dinner with the GM.

Luhnow said that they have been in contact with the players throughout the process, and they know where they stand. He also said that we don’t need to believe everything that Drellich, Ortiz, or McTaggart write about. “We don’t go and talk to those guys until after the ink is dry on the deal.” Most Astros fans probably thought that the two sides would not reach a deal, so it’s nice that they were able to come together a strike a deal.

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The other part of Tuesday’s deal was probably bigger than the 2016 salary announcement, according to Evan Drellich, the Astros also got Gattis to agree to a team option for the 2017 season worth $5.2 million with a $100 thousand buyout. This is a win-win for both Gattis and the Astros. This gives Gattis his first big payday for 2016-2017 and gives him the piece of mind that he will be with the Astros for the next couple seasons. The Astros might have used the hernia surgery as the primary reason Gattis should only earn the $3 million had they had gone to the hearings.

This is a win for Luhnow and the Astros because yes they had to pay more for Gattis this season, but should Gattis have a great season in 2016; he could have earned more than $6 million in arbitration next season. The Astros have the team option for $5.2 million, which could be a bargain. In my opinion, there was a compromise between both sides bending a little this year (Astros) and next year (by Gattis). However, should Gattis struggle in 2016, the Astros have an exit ticket for the 2017 season with the $100 K buyout.

We talked Gattis on Talking Stros last night.

While Gattis’ injury is not considered serious, he will miss some of spring training and will take some time to get up to get back up to game speed. I’m excited for Gattis, let’s hope he recovers and plays consistent all year.

Next: Houston Astros: Talking Stros with Jim Callis, Defends Bregman over Reed

While the designated hitter slot will eventually belong to Tyler White, it will be nice to have a veteran presence in the lineup like Gattis. If he can produce like the Astros thought he could when they traded for him last offseason, this offense could be the one of the tops in the game. Let’s hope that Gattis has a career year this year through the Astros winning the World Series.

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