Astros unable to agree on 2023 deal with Cristian Javier
For the most part, the Astros have done a great job at the arbitration deadline, reaching an agreement with Blake Taylor, Framber Valdez, Phil Maton, José Urquidy, Mauricio Dubón and Ryne Stanek, avoiding arb hearings with all six parties.
Sadly, the same cannot be said for their co-ace Cristian Javier. The Astros and Javier will be headed to arbitration after both parties were unable to reach an agreement on a salary for 2023.
According to Jon Heyman, the Astros filed at $3 million while Javier filed at $3.5 million.
This is unfortunate news, as the arbitration process can at times be messy. The Astros should be doing whatever it takes to preserve their relationship with the Cy Young candidate.
We have fawned over Javier countless times in this space, but it can't be said enough how dominant he was in 2022: 11 wins and 9 losses, a 2.54 ERA, .095 WHIP, 11.7 K/9 (trailed only Shohei Ohtani and Carlos Rodon) and a 152 ERA+.
Javier's Statcast metrics were just as elite: 98th percentile in xBA, 96th in xERA and xwOBA, 95th in xSLG, 94th in K rate and 82nd in whiff rate and hard hit rate.
Come playoff time, Javier was even more lights out. He posted a 0.71 ERA in the postseason in 12.2 innings of work, yielding only two hits.
Needless to say, he's an ace and a future Cy Young winner.
The Astros are believed to be having extension talks with Javier. He's currently under team control for three season, but his best years are still to come. Houston needs to lock Javier up for the foreseeable future. They would have been wise to avoid a hearing in order to ensure there are no fractures in their relationship.
As long as Javier is atop the Astros' rotation, their title window is open. He's not going anywhere for a few years, but Houston would be wise not to stretch the process out until Javier prices himself beyond their budget.