Jose Altuve is the face of the franchise. He is the heartbeat of Houston. As Altuve goes, the Astros go. No player in baseball means more to his team than Altuve does to his Astros.
Simply put, Houston can't afford to let Altuve walk. Altuve's contract expires after the 2024 season. It would be an injustice for Altuve to don another uniform.
Jose Altuve told Fansided's Robert Murray today that he has not had any contract extension talks with the Astros.
This is in stark contrast to what Dana Brown said at his introductory press conference as GM. Brown said the Astros were working on extensions with many of their homegrown pieces, including Altuve.
Now, is it a big deal ink hasn't been put to paper yet? No, not at all. As a client of Scott Boras, it would be surprising to see Altuve sign before he could at least establish market value.
But what exactly were Brown and the Astros working on in contract talks if they haven't even been brought to Altuve.
Brown comes from the Braves, who have been the kings of locking up homegrown talent, so there is still plenty of hope a deal gets done with Altuve, but his tone in answering the question was rather surprising.
Less than a week ago, we called Altuve the greatest player in Astros history. He is almost aging in reverse, hitting for more power as each year passes.
He's hitting .313 with a .947 OPS this season. Since he returned from the IL, the Astros have been neck-and-neck with the Braves for the best offense in baseball.
And oh by the way, he may be the best playoff performer in MLB history.
Is it time to panic? Not at all. But it is surprising to find out that Houston hasn't even approached Altuve with an initial extension offer. Let's hope they bring one to the table quickly.