WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP)New Houston Astros general manager Dana Brown hopes some of Cristian Javier’s teammates follow the pitcher’s example and agree to longterm contracts.
”We’re in the keeping business,” Brown said Thursday while discussing the $64 million, five-year deal Javier agreed to with the World Series champions last week. ”We want to keep our players.”
Brown said he’s in negotiations with the agents for outfielder Kyle Tucker and pitcher Framber Valdez. Tucker lost in salary arbitration and is slated to earn $5 million, and Valdez agreed last month to a $6.8 million, one-year contract.
Both are eligible for free agency after the 2025 World Series.
Brown also contacted agent Scott Boras about new deals for second baseman Jose Altuve and third baseman Alex Bregman. Both are signed through 2024.
”These guys should retire here,” Brown said he told Boras. ”They should be in Houston for life, man.”
Brown was hired last month to replace James Click after Brown spent four years as Atlanta’s vice president of scouting. Click was not given a new contract and left following the World Series.
After leading the Astros to last year’s title, manager Dusty Baker missed the first workout of pitchers and catchers in order to attend an event at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Astros owner Jim Crane was among the event’s honorary chairmen.
Houston is attempting to become the first repeat champion since the New York Yankees from 1998-2000.
”They are always finding something to push themselves,” bench coach Joe Espada said. ”That’s the nature of that group in there. It’s just, that’s who we are. You know, these guys, they want to win.”
A 25-year-old right-hander, Javier went 11-9 with a 2.54 ERA in 25 starts and five relief appearances last year, striking out 198 and walking 52 in 148 2/3 innings. He set career bests for wins, ERA, strikeouts and innings.
Javier won both his postseason starts, pitching 11 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against the Yankees and Game 4 of the World Series against Philadelphia.
He started a pair of no-hitters, pitching seven innings at the Yankees on June 25 and six innings in the game at the Phillies – just the second no-hitter in World Series history.
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