Houston Astros: 2 contract extensions they need to make and 1 to avoid

The Houston Astros have some choices to make with who and who not to give contract extensions.

Cincinnati Reds v Houston Astros
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Extension to make: Kyle Tucker

This is an obvious one as Kyle Tucker’s name has been very much on folks minds when it comes to contract extensions. Indeed, the front office was very candid when they expressed a desire to lock Tucker up long-term and it is not difficult to see why. Kyle is coming off back to back seasons where he has put up nearly 5 fWAR, hit 30 home runs, and has been a consistent performer on both sides of the ball.

2023 hasn’t been QUITE as good for Kyle thus far, but he has still been a well above average big league hitter thanks to his combination of power and speed. Noticeable improvements in Tucker's walk rate and strikeout rate point to likely improvement over a larger sample and the months of June and August have usually been when he is at his best during his career. More importantly, Tucker is just 26 and will still have plenty of prime years left that would be covered by a potential extension.

There are certainly some hurdles to a potential deal, though. First, Tucker is represented by Excel who is not exactly known for leaving money on the table. Many are thinking that for a deal to get done, he is going to need a deal in excess of $200 million which is definitely a large financial commitment especially for an owner like Jim Crane.

Secondly, the timing right now is a little difficult for an extension as Kyle still has two years of team control after the 2023 season. It may make more sense for both sides to wait for at least one more arbitration hearing/settlement to get a better sense of his current value and then go from there.

All of that said, Tucker is the kind of dynamic young player that Houston should be looking to build around. Everyday players that can defend, hit, hit for power, and produce on the base paths are hard to come by and Kyle checks all of those boxes. There is certainly a chance that he could become too expensive or require too many years in a deal, but the Astros should make a good faith effort to try.