12:48pm: Alvarez’s contract breaks down in the form of a $5MM signing bonus followed by annual salaries of $7MM (2023), $10MM (2024), $15MM (2025) and $26MM (2026-28), Mark Berman of Houston’s FOX 26 reports (Twitter link). He’s already passed a physical
12:19pm: The Astros have agreed to terms on a six-year, $115MM contract extension with Yordan Alvarez, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link). The contract begins next season and will cover the 2023-28 seasons. Alvarez is represented by the MVP Sports Group.
Alvarez, 25 later this month, was on pace to reach free agency following the 2025 season and would have hit the open market at at just 28 years of age. Instead, his new contract will buy out all three of his arbitration seasons and give the Astros control over what would have been Alvarez’s first three free-agent seasons. Alvarez technically won’t reach three years of Major League service time until tomorrow, but since the contract begins next year, it can effectively be viewed as the second-largest deal ever signed by a player in the three-plus service bracket, trailing only Freddie Freeman’s eight-year, $135MM extension with the Braves back in 2014.
Acquired in a flat-out heist that sent reliever Josh Fields to the Dodgers, Alvarez burst onto the Major League scene in 2019 when he mashed at a .313/.412/.655 pace and crushed 27 home runs in just 369 plate appearances. Despite barely spending half the season in the Majors (87 games), Alvarez was the unanimous American League Rookie of the Year. While he missed nearly the entire 2020 season due to arthroscopic surgery that was performed on both knees, he was back in full force a year later, hitting .277/.346/.531 with 33 home runs in 598 trips to the plate.
Since making his big league debut, Alvarez has quite simply been one of the best hitters on the planet. He’s a career .287/.370/.576 hitter, and the resulting 156 wRC+ (indicating he’s 56% better than the league-average hitter) sits just ahead of Juan Soto and trails only Mike Trout (177) among all qualified MLB hitters in that span. Alvarez achieves his dominance at the plate through a keen eye (10.8% walk rate), improving bat-to-ball skills (his 17.6% strikeout rate is down from his rookie year’s 25.5% mark) and, most importantly, through hitting the ever-loving snot out of the ball. Since 2019, Alvarez ranks third in the Majors in both average exit velocity (93.3 mph) and overall hard-hit rate (54.2%), as well as eighth in barrel rate (16.1%) per Statcast.
More to come.