George Springer officially declined the Astros qualifying offer
This isn’t necessarily surprising news out of Houston, as Springer is expected to receive a multi-year deal beyond the $18.1 AAV the Astros offered him. Yet, the Astros are deemed one of many potential suitors for Springer, who at 31 still demands at least a three-year agreement worth over $20 million per.
Despite his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Springer has a positive reputation around baseball as one of the most complete players in the game. The three-time All-Star hit .265 with 14 home runs in a shortened 60-game season, but played a major role in the Astros run to the ALCS, in which they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in seven games.
Who else might make a run at Springer?
Springer has long been connected to the Boston Red Sox. He’s a Massachusetts native, and Chaim Bloom wants to make an influence in his first full offseason on the job. Assuming Boston gets rid of Jackie Bradley, Jr. for good, there will be a Springer-sized hole in the Red Sox outfield. As much as the Red Sox appear to be controlling their spending, they still reside in Boston. Fans expect some sort of improvement year-over-year, and incremental pitching signings paired with the big move to bring in Springer sounds like a monumental offseason by Bloom should he be able to pull it off.
Houston isn’t out of the picture, either, but in a season in which MLB owners struggled to make much of a profit, it wouldn’t surprise fans if Jim Crane opted to let a post-30’s outfielder walk.