The Astros are entering year eight of the Golden Era. With so many key pieces headed for free agency in 2024 and 2025, we may be looking at the window of contention coming to a close.
Since 2017, Owner Jim Crane has let key piece after key piece walk in free agency, trusting in the reinforcements coming from the farm system. With the system now barren, Crane and the front office no longer have this luxury. Houston has to start paying their own players. Let's take a look at some of the impending Astros free agents, and even some promising young talent still with years of control but available for cheaper now than they'll ever be, and rank them in order of most deserving of a contract extension.
Ranking the Astros most deserving of a contract extension
They've got some holes to fill this off-season via free agency, but locking up some of these pieces should be priority number one this off-season.
#1 Jose Altuve
Was there even a question as to who would be #1 on this list? Jose Altuve is the face of the franchise. He's the greatest player in franchise history--period. He's one of the best playoff performers of all-time. Jose Altuve is an Astro for life, no questions asked.
Altuve should pick up his 3,000th hit wearing an Astros uniform. He should have the chance to win a third ring wearing an Astros uniform. Health permitting, he may even get to 300 home runs in an Astros uniform.
He continues to get better with age, and if he plays a full season, with the shorter bases, may again make another push at a 30/30 season. You've got another two-to-three years of borderline MVP caliber production ahead, and then a chance for Altuve to ride off into the sunset as he puts the feather in his cap on a Hall of Fame career.
He simply can't wear another jersey.