Astros: Not surprisingly, team picks up Evan Gattis’ 2017 option
Astros retain Evan Gattis‘ services by picking up 2017 option.
Not that this is breaking news by any means, but the Houston Astros officially pick up the 2017 option to retain Evan Gattis. Last offseason, fans were torn between which player not to tender a contract to. If you remember, it was between Gattis and Chris Carter. Both were basically DH’s. The Astros chose to tender Gattis a contract and let Carter walk, possibly because of Gattis’ ability to catch.
It turned out to be the right choice for the Astros as Gattis is now a fully capable backup catcher who also serves as a designated hitter. While it is unlikely that Gattis is the everyday catcher, he has proved his value to the organization.
For those of you doing the math, you might wonder why he is not going through the arbitration process in his second year of eligibility. Last season, the team offered him a team option for 2017 as part of avoiding arbitration. Had the Astros not picked up the option for 2017, he would have then gone through the arbitration process and probably made more money. Why did he accept a lesser deal when he could have made more? Because it was a safe bet.
Last season, he started the season with an injury. He was also coming off a season where he struggled a little as the DH. Had he struggled in 2016, he possibly could not have received as much through arbitration. Which is why he accepted the $5.2 million dollar team option for 2017 as part of avoiding arbitration.
The future for “El Oso Blanco”.
The Astros made the right choice because Gattis improved his stock in 2016, would have cost more at arbitration. Both sides come away with the win, unlike Jason Castro, who lost his arbitration hearing last year. Castro may choose to leave the Stros based on the process last offseason. That is left to be seen.
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Now we have Gattis officially back for the 2017 season, will he be here beyond 2018? In two seasons, Gattis will be in Castro’s shoes as he looks to evaluate the market for his services. Should the Astros bring in a quality starting catcher this offseason on a multi-year deal, it would be less likely that Gattis would be retained. If they don’t bring in a quality catcher this offseason, will one of the prospects rise the ranks to become the starter?
We don’t know what will happen now next year, much less two years from now. Gattis has reasserted himself into the lineup as a catcher 2-3 times a week. He led the 2016 squad with 32 homers. One curious thing about Gattis is how he hits better as a catcher versus a DH. He upped his batting average up to .251 in 2016, can he make another leap forward in his fifth MLB season in 2017?
Next: Astros Add Nori Aoki via Waivers From Mariners
The duo of Castro and Gattis at the end of the season was showing signs of being consistent. Castro may be on his way out, but Gattis is happy that he is still part of the Houston team. Although he is under team control in 2018 as well, he will be arbitration eligible then. Glad to officially have Gattis back in the fold, but there was really little doubt.
***Stats and salary information from Baseball-Reference and Sportrac***