The Houston Astros have averted going to an arbitration hearing with George Springer after agreeing on a one-year contract.
Amid all of the bad news surrounding the Astros this past week, a bit of good news surfaced today. George Springer has agreed to a one-year deal worth $21 million and avoiding what could have been a contentious arbitration hearing.
The Houston Astros are normally thought to be considered a “file and trial” team. Once the deadline has passed and both sides have filed their salary figures, the Astros front office would normally steer away from any further negotiations and let the arbitration hearings settle it. But with Jeff Luhnow out of the picture and owner Jim Crane running the baseball operations, their strategies may have changed.
George Springer and the Astros were quite far apart in their filings, in fact, the widest gap of any salary difference going into arbitration. The Astros filed a salary figure of $17.5 million while Springer and his representatives filed for $22.5 million, a $5 million dollar discrepancy.
The contract for 2020 also includes possible incentive awards on top of the $21 million base salary. The details of the contract have yet to be announced. He was projected to get $21.4 million if it went to arbitration. So this settlement is considered to be a win for Springer, taking into account what his potential earnings could be with any awarded bonuses.
That puts Springer up near the top for outfielders’ payrolls. He is now third in the American League among outfielders below Mike Trout ($37.66 M) and Mookie Betts ($27 M), tying him with Justin Upton in base salary.
The ideal situation would have been if a multi-year deal could have been reached due to the fact that Springer becomes a free agent following the 2020 season. Once he reaches free agency, no telling what could happen. Securing him for several more years would have made me a lot more comfortable.
The lone player left that is still scheduled for an arbitration hearing is Aledmys Diaz. Houston filed $2.6 million while Diaz filed a salary of $2 million. Who knows, maybe Crane and Diaz can also come to some type of agreement soon and avoid arbitration altogether. Everyone knows the Astros have enough on their plate right now.