The Houston Astros are likely to lose George Springer this winter, and general manager James Click discussed how the team might replace him.
The Houston Astros are likely to lose George Springer this offseason. While the team remains interested in bringing him back, the price to sign the star outfielder will likely exceed $100 million and figures to be well out of the franchise’s price range. And the team has prepared for life without Springer, according to general manager James Click in an interview on MLB Network.
“As a front office, part of the job is preparing for life after these guys every day, even when they’re here,” Click said. “If we box ourselves into thinking that the team can only exist with the player, then we may blind ourselves of some opportunities to improve the roster.”
Click’s statement, of course, also includes fellow free agent outfielders Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick. While Springer is unlikely to return and Reddick has already said goodbye to Houston, Brantley remains a legitimate possibility to return. Interest in Brantley has been strong, with teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and others being involved.
It appears likely, if not a certainty, that the Astros will have to build their outfield around Brantley. Even then, the price to retain him figures to require a multi-year deal worth more than $10 million per season. But the Astros insist that they want to contend in 2021 and beyond, and with future payroll clearing up with Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke coming off the books, the team will be in a position to sign Brantley to such a deal.
“Our job here is to try to put this franchise in a position to win as many World Series as possible over the foreseeable future,” Click said. “Sometimes, that comes with tough decisions. We are going to keep pursuing the guys we think can help us with that goal.”
And while Springer is that kind of player, his days in Houston appear to be all but over. The Astros, however, will see it to the end to see if they can strike a deal.