SOURCE: George Springer Would Have Signed Extension With Astros For Seven Years/$40 Million
The George Springer saga continues.
According to a source close to Springer, the talented outfielder would have signed a long-term extension with the Astros had they offered him a seven year/$40 million contract.
The Astros reportedly offered him a seven year/$23 million deal last September, which Springer rejected.
The #18 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America coming into the 2014 season, Springer make a mockery of AA and AAA pitching last season, posting a .303/.411/.600 slash line to go along with 37 home runs and 45 stolen bases. He did, however, strike out 161 times in 492 at bats against minor league-caliber arms last season.
There was reason to believe that the 24-year-old outfielder would start the season in the major leagues in either LF or RF field coming into spring training with only Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes blocking his path, but while Springer did steal four bases and post a respectable .333 OBP, he had just one RBI and zero home runs in 39 plate appearances and was sent to the minors.
Yesterday, it was reported by Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that the MLBPA and Springer’s agent were considering pursuing a grievance over the matter of Springer’s service time, with the argument that the Astros sent him down purely because they would get an extra year of service time from him if they waited till after June to promote him to the major league club.
Had Springer accepted the seven year/$23 million deal the Astros offered him last year, his service time would have no longer been an issue, and would have likely had him penciled into their starting lineup to start the 2014 campaign.
Although this is generally a routine maneuver for teams with their young prospects–especially for non-contending clubs like the Astros–these actions are considered despicable by most players and fans, generally because it keeps major league-caliber players in the minor leagues for longer stretches of time.
FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal put it best regarding Springer’s situation:
“If Springer was good enough to be offered $23 million, why isn’t he good enough to crack the 25-man roster on a team that has finished with the worst record in the majors over the last three seasons?”
I suppose that’s what the MLBPA and Springer’s camp will be trying to figure out in the coming days.
Follow OPSN Lead Writer Shawn Ferris on Twitter @RealShawnFerris for more MLB news, updates, and analysis.