MLB

Low-budget Astros give Altuve 4-year deal

07/14 9:19 AM

The low-budget Astros have made an investment in their future, signing second baseman Jose Altuve to a four-year contract through 2017.

HOUSTON -- The low-budget Astros have made an investment in their future, signing second baseman Jose Altuve to a four-year contract through 2017.

Altuve's deal with Houston announced Saturday covers his arbitration-eligible years and includes club options for 2018 and 2019. If the options aren't exercised, he would be eligible for free agency after the 2017 season.

The deal is worth $12.5 million with two club options at $6 million and $6.5 million.

After making $505,700 this season under a one-year contract, Altuve will receive a $750,000 signing bonus, payable within 60 days, and salaries of $1.25 million next year, $2.5 million in 2015, $3.5 million in 2016 and $4.5 million in 2017.

The 23-year-old Altuve was an All-Star in 2012. He is hitting .280 with 15 doubles, three homers and 28 RBIs.

"This contract is consistent with our strategy of developing and retaining the best young talent in baseball," team owner Jim Crane said. "All along, I've maintained that we will make the necessary investments to create a winning team long-term, and this is an important step in that direction."

The 5-foot-5 Altuve has become a fan favorite and one of the few bright spots on a team which has slogged through consecutive 100-loss seasons and looks to be headed for a third one this season.

He made his major league debut in July 2011 and blossomed last season when he hit .290 with 34 doubles, seven home runs and 33 stolen bases.

"Jose has quickly become the face of the franchise in less than two years, and we are excited to keep him here for many years to come," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "He provides leadership both on and off the field and has become a big part of the Houston sports community."

Altuve was Houston's minor league player of the year in 2011 when he led the minors with a .389 average before being called up to the Astros. He quickly developed into a solid player for this young team and has appeared in 287 games since being called up.

Altuve is the youngest everyday second baseman in the majors and his continued growth is a positive sign for a team hoping to rebuild from within.

"I'm really happy to be a part of the Houston Astros organization," Altuve said. "I just want to keep playing hard and help this team win games. I love my teammates and the people of Houston and I'm going to do everything I can to improve and win baseball games."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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