The Houston Astros have made a big move to secure their future with the recent contract extension of starter Cristian Javier. With five years and $64 million guaranteed, Javier will remain an integral part of the core for the next half-decade. General manager Dana Brown is betting on Javier’s continued improvement, and with the savvy salary structure of the contract, the Astros have provided themselves with plenty of payroll flexibility for the future.
The contract itself is structured with a $2 million signing bonus and $3 million for the first year in 2023. The following year, Javier will earn $7 million, then $10 million in 2025, and then two seasons at $21 million. This salary structure is ideal for the Astros in terms of avoiding tax penalties and creating future flexibility. The organization is now roughly $19.754 million below the first tax threshold of $233 million, with Javier’s extension now reflected on the books. This means the team is able to absorb more payroll without incurring a tax penalty while simultaneously increasing future flexibility.
The Astros may also be looking to sign multiple players to long-term extensions in the coming years, with names such as Kyle Tucker, Framber Valdez, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman being mentioned by Brown. Of this group, it remains doubtful that Tucker signs an extension without being substantially blown away by an offer, but stranger things have happened. With Altuve and Bregman under contract only through 2024, the time is also approaching to determine the long-term course at second and third base.
It looks like the Astros are gearing up for another postseason run, and with the extension of Cristian Javier, the team has taken a big step towards securing their future. With the salary structure of the contract, the Astros have provided themselves with plenty of payroll flexibility for the future, and it looks like more extensions may be on the horizon. This is an exciting time for the Astros, and it will be interesting to see how the team continues to shape its roster in the coming years.