The Houston Astros fell short of their goal of winning back-to-back World Series after losing to the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series. This offseason, with the free agency market moving at a snail's pace, the Astros made the move to sign top closer Josh Hader to a five-year, $95 million contract. As it turn out, the Astros weren't done handing out big money this offseason. This time, it was an in-house move.
According to multiple reports, the Astros were signing longtime second baseman Jose Altuve to a five-year, $125 million contract extension. With that, his contract will run from the 2025 season until 2029, which will be Altuve's age 39 season. As the team puts it, Altuve will now be an "Astro for Life."
While this is great news for Astros fans who wanted the face of the franchise to remain with the team for the latter part of his career, it also opens to door for some departures, possibly as soon as 2025. Here are some players who might not be back.
3. Kendall Graveman
One player who may have been phased out of the team's plans is Kendall Graveman.
Last year, the Astros acquired Graveman from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for the catcher Korey Lee in a reunion of sorts. Graveman had previously pitched for Houston from the Seattle Mariners back in the 2021 campaign. That year, the relief pitcher recorded a 3.13 ERA, a 1.391 WHIP, 27 strikeouts, and 12 walks in 23.0 innings (23 games).
This past season, Graveman posted a 2.42 ERA, a 1.522 WHIP, 24 strikeouts, and 16 walks in 22.1 innings (23 games). However, his season was cut short due to right shoulder discomfort, forcing him to miss the entirety of the postseason.
But matters only got worse for Graveman and the Astros. Last December, it was announced that Graveman would need surgery on his right shoulder, and would miss the entirety of the 2024 season.
With this news, and the fact that the Astros' bullpen will be back-end heavy with Hader and Ryan Pressly, it's entirely likely that the team will look elsewhere for bullpen help in 2025 and beyond.