Astros Rumors

Astros Rumors: Houston remains in talks with top free agents

George Springer (4) celebrates with left fielder Michael Brantley (23) after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning during game five of the 2020 ALCS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
George Springer (4) celebrates with left fielder Michael Brantley (23) after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning during game five of the 2020 ALCS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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It is widely expected that the Houston Astros will not be able to re-sign George Springer, but the team is still in talks with Springer and Michael Brantley.

The Houston Astros’ outfield situation remains the biggest mystery surrounding the franchise this winter, with all three starters from 2020 in free agency and uncertain to return. But general manager James Click told reporters that the club is “engaged on a number of fronts,” including George Springer and Michael Brantley.

The odds remain in favor of Brantley returning over Springer. After all, Springer is expected to command a nine-figure salary in free agency and with the Astros looking to maintain long-term financial flexibility, committing to such a deal may prove difficult.

Also factoring into the equation is that Carlos Correa will become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season. Of course, the Astros will have some of their other top players coming off the books at that point, too. But it will be hard for the franchise to keep both Springer and Correa and maintain financial flexibility going forward.

It is why the Astros will likely hesitate to commit to such a big contract now with Springer and why Brantley is more likely too return. Even then, his fate is not certain. He is drawing strong interest in free agency and could land a hefty multi-year deal. He did lose one suitor, however, when the Chicago White Sox agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Adam Eaton. But the list of suitors for Brantley includes the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees in addition to the Astros.

There are no indications that Springer or Brantley are close to deals, but the Astros are keeping tabs on both players in case they can land either on a deal that makes sense for them now and in the future.

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