Don’t worry, Houston Astros fans — your hero isn’t going anywhere.
Jose Altuve was slated to hit free agency after this season, but he and the Astros have agreed to a five-year, $125 million extension that will kick in next year, the team announced Tuesday.
This is Altuve’s third extension with the team — he signed a five-year, $151 million deal with the team back in 2018, and before that, he and the Astros skipped all arbitration by inking a four-year deal back in 2013, shortly after his first full season.
Altuve has been one of the best hitters this generation has ever seen, winning three batting titles from 2014 to 2017. His .307 batting average is the highest among active players.
Altuve missed a healthy portion of this past season thanks to a broken wrist he suffered in the World Baseball Classic, but when he was on the field, he was his vintage self, hitting .311 with a .915 OPS.
The 5-foot-6 second baseman has defied all the odds since his younger days, becoming a two-time World Series champion and an eight-time All-Star. He also won an MVP in 2017, the same year the Astros won their first Fall Classic, but that season is widely considered tarnished thanks to the team’s sign-stealing scandal.
But it’s become very apparent that Altuve does not need trash cans to hit — he did win two of his batting titles before that 2017 season.
Altuve has also become one of the most prolific postseason players in the history of baseball — his .273 average is lower than his regular season average, but he has had numerous clutch moments that live in baseball lore, including his walk-off home run in the 2019 American League Championship Series.
He owns a .510 slugging percentage in the postseason, a high improvement from his .471 in the regular season. In 103 postseason games, he’s hit 27 homers, a far cry from the 20 he averages in a typical 162-game season.
Altuve will turn 34 in May, and this new deal will leave him in an Astros uniform until he’s 39.
Altuve’s Astros won the AL West again this past season, but lost in the ALCS by their own division rivals in the eventual World Series champion Texas Rangers.