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Sources: Astros, Jose Altuve reach 5-year, $125M extension

ByABC News
February 6, 2024, 6:49 PM

Jose Altuve signed a five-year extension on Tuesday that all but guarantees he will finish his career with the Houston Astros.

The deal is worth $125 million, sources told ESPN, taking him all the way through his age-39 season.

"He's a franchise-type player; one of the best in Houston history," owner Jim Crane said at the owners meetings in Orlando, Florida. "And we hope someday he's a Hall of Famer."

The Astros announced the agreement on social media, calling their longtime second baseman an "Astro For Life." The 33-year-old Altuve was heading into his final season -- at $26 million -- before free agency. His new deal begins in 2025 and takes him through 2029.

Altuve has established himself as a central figure of the most successful yet polarizing era in franchise history, a seven-year stretch that has included two World Series titles, four American League pennants and seven consecutive trips (and counting) to the AL Championship Series.

Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, Altuve defied the odds and turned himself into a superstar despite being one of the most undersized players in baseball history at 5-foot-6.

Through 13 years in the big leagues, Altuve has slashed .307/.364/.471 while accumulating 2,047 hits, 293 stolen bases and 209 home runs. His résumé includes eight All-Star invites, six Silver Sluggers, three batting titles, a Gold Glove and an MVP, won in 2017.

His career batting average is the highest of any active player with at least 2,000 at-bats, and the Dodgers' Freddie Freeman (2,017) is the only other player with more than 2,000 hits since Altuve made his debut on July 20, 2011.

But some of Altuve's greatest work has been done in the postseason. Most recently, Altuve hit the dramatic ninth-inning home run to cap a contentious contest against the division-rival Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the ALCS. He did something similar in the 2019 ALCS, walking off the New York Yankees with a ninth-inning home run against All-Star closer  Aroldis Chapman to send the Astros to the World Series.

In 103 playoff games, Altuve has 27 home runs and 89 runs scored, which both rank second all time. His 117 hits are tied for third. He is one of just four players in MLB postseason history to surpass 100 hits and 50 RBIs, joining Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Manny Ramirez.

Altuve and his longtime infield partner, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, were both heading into their final seasons before free agency in 2024. But the thought all along was that the Astros would at least figure something out with Altuve, who has made a strong case for the Hall of Fame despite the sign-stealing scandal that engulfed his team in recent years.

He hit .311 last season with 15 home runs, 51 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 90 games after returning in May from a broken left thumb suffered in the World Baseball Classic.

His new deal will pay him a $15 million signing bonus, then salaries of $30 million in 2025, 2026 and 2027. He'll make $10 million in both 2029 and 2030.

By the end of it, he'll become the first second baseman in baseball history to reach $300 million in career earnings.

ESPN's Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.