The Houston Astros appear to be out of the George Springer free agent chase.
Houston has waved the white flag in the Springer free agent sweepstakes, all but ending an era. The Astros won the 2017 World Series with a roster predicated on the likes of Springer and Carlos Correa. Now that Correa is also being shopped, Gerrit Cole is long gone and Justin Verlander is on the mend, the 2021 Astros will be virtually unrecognizable in Dusty Baker’s second season at the helm.
With the Astros out on Springer, his options appear to be down to the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays. Per SNY’s Andy Martino, and backed up by Jon Heyman of MLB Network, New York and Toronto are seen as the primary two options for the three-time All-Star.
The Astros long ago balked at a potential long-term deal for Springer
The Mets have floated a five-year, $125 million contract towards Springer’s camp, only to be turned down for anything less than $150 million. The Astros are unwilling to consider anything but their one-year qualifying offer at this point.
Considering Springer is already north of 30 years old, it’s not surprising that Houston would want to aim younger, in hopes of extending their competitive window. Without Springer, they take a step back in the interim, but perhaps can replace him in the long-term. Not re-signing Michael Brantley as well, however, would lead to a giant hole in the outfield.
It’s unclear exactly what the Astros’ plan is, but Jim Crane is hurting financially just like the rest of baseball. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that the Astros are cutting costs heading into 2021.