Much was said about how quickly the deal came together, Hader's experience coming up through the Astros farm system, and their goal of winning multiple championships. Astros fans were incredibly excited at the signing, and rightfully so. It was the type of free agent splash Houston has never made under Jim Crane, and, honestly, has rarely come close to making in franchise history.
Of all the things that were said by Hader, Brown, and Espada, one quote in particular stands out:
"This is a relationship that I believe is going to be longer than five years."- Josh Hader
Hader of course signed a five-year, $95 million deal. Houston historically has been very reluctant to re-sign expiring free agents, and by 2025, they'll be staring at a potential future without Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker, Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez and Ryan Pressly.
The Astros have already bid farewell to Hader once. That, coupled with their reluctance to extend their talent, wouldn't make it incredibly likely on paper that Hader re-ups when this deal expires. One would anticipate Hader spends his five years in Houston and then moves on.
That said, Houston has been a little more willing to give shorter, higher-AAV deals to aging veterans in recent history, as evidenced by the Verlander extensions, Michael Brantley deals, and José Abreu's contract last offseason.
Hader is currently 29. He will be 34 when his current deal expires. If he is still an elite arm at that point in time, the Astros may very well be willing to give him a shorter deal with a higher AAV to keep him around.
Players often say optimistic things in their introductions to a team and fanbase, but Hader's belief that he will be in Houston for longer than just this contract should get Astros fans excited.
We've already seen Jim Crane pivot in a new direction this offseason to give out a high-dollar contract to a top free agent on the market. Could we see a new era of Astros baseball in which they extend expiring free agents to try and keep the band together?