Astros lock up Altuve longterm with 5-year, $150-million extension

Jose Altuve is going to get paid. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Rejoice Astros fans, you have your cornerstone player for the foreseeable future as Jose Altuve and the Astros have agreed on a 5-year, $150 million dollar deal to keep the superstar second baseman in Houston after his current contract ends. The deal is the largest in franchise history.

With Altuve under contract through 2018 with a team option in 2019, the five-year deal kicks in for the 2020 season, keeping Altuve on the Astros through 2024. The contract comes as a great reward for Altuve, who is coming off his AL MVP season in which he completed his fourth-consecutive season with at least 200 hits and also recording his highest season batting average at .346. 

Altuve has been a vital part of the Astros organization since he arrived, making five All-Star game appearances and acting as the fan-favorite face of the franchise. He appears to be on a Craig Biggio-esque journey to possibly spend his entire career in Houston and help keep the team in contention for the next half-decade. 

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With so much on the line for the Astros this past weekend, they couldn't possibly get swept by the Royals, could they?

That's exactly what they did thanks to some poor pitching, and an inability to get timely hits with runners in scoring position.

The Astros are currently clinging to the last wild card position as they head to Seattle to face the Mariners, with Justin Verlander on the mound for the 'Stros.

Starting pitching has been the biggest issue for the club as of late, with Hunter Brown looking unusable moving forward. Brown has given up, wait for this, 6 earned runs or more in 3 of his last 4 starts. His ERA for the season is now over 5.

So how will the rotation look over the final stretch of games? We know for the Mariners series the team is rolling out Verlander, Cristian Javier, and Framber Valdez.

The club is off on Thursday, and they head to Arizona for a 3-game series with the Diamondbacks that starts Friday. We predict JP France will pitch Friday, with Justin Verlander likely taking the ball Saturday.

Then all bets are off for Sunday. It could be Framber on 3-days rest, or all hands on deck for a bullpen game.

Of course, with the division race being so close, things could change on a daily basis. There's even a scenario where Arizona secures their wild card, and the final two games of the season don't matter for them.

The other big factor will be the outcome of the 4-game Rangers-Mariners series that finishes off the season.

Be sure to watch the video above as we examine all the scenarios leading up to the end of the regular season for Houston, and much more!

Watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Thursday on SportsMap Houston's YouTube channel.

And listen to ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM for Houston's best sports talk.

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