The Houston Astros are in a pretty interesting place as an organization right now. They are coming off a World Series title and remain in the thick of the playoff chase. However, they have a new general manager in Dana Brown after ownership basically forced out his predecessor, have some very real competition in their division with the Rangers off to a hot start and the Angels and Mariners lurking, and they are slowly seeing the guys that have kept them competitive the last few years either get older or move on to different organizations.
Turnover on any team is to be expected and no team realistically can expect to keep their window of contention open forever. However, this is still a really good baseball team that can remain good for a while if they make the right moves even as other teams rise and become contenders themselves.
The trick, of course, is picking the right players to offer longer term deals in order to solidify the team’s core and to know when to get the most out of others and understand that the financial commitment to keep them around just isn’t worth it.
Which extensions do the Astros need to make and which ones should they avoid?
Fortunately for the Astros, Brown comes from an organization in Atlanta that is quite good at identifying opportunities for long-term deals while avoiding very large, lengthy deals for players that may not be worth it over their duration. The obvious question now is: who should the Astros keep and who should they let go. While we won’t be doing a complete accounting of the roster in terms of “stay vs go”, here are two players that the Astros should do everything they can (within reason) to keep around and one contract extension they should avoid.