Keuchel among 7 arbitration-eligible Astros

Players, club face Friday deadline to exchange salary numbers for '17

Keuchel among 7 arbitration-eligible Astros

HOUSTON -- The Astros and their seven arbitration-eligible players -- a list that includes 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel -- face a Friday deadline to exchange their desired salary numbers for the 2017 season -- a process that typically leads to one-year deals getting reached.

Keuchel and fellow pitchers Will Harris, Mike Fiers and Collin McHugh, utility player Marwin Gonzalez and outfielders George Springer and Jake Marisnick are all arbitration-eligible this year. The players and the team submit salary numbers, leading to negotiations to avoid going to an arbitration hearing.

In other words, all seven players are under contract for 2017, but their salaries will be determined through the arbitration process.

Astros director of baseball operations Brandon Taubman is heading up the club's arbitration team, along with director of business development Samir Mayur and baseball operations coordinators Brendan Fournie and Charles Cook.

According to 2017 salary projections by MLBTradeRumors.com, the seven players could earn a combined $30.3 million: Keuchel ($9.5 million projected), Harris ($2.5 million), Fiers ($4.3 million), McHugh ($4.6 million), Gonzalez ($3.6 million), Springer ($4.7 million) and Marisnick ($1.1 million).

Under general manager Jeff Luhnow, who took over following the 2011 season, the Astros have had one case to go an arbitration hearing. That came last year, when catcher Jason Castro lost his case and was paid $5 million instead of the $5.25 million he desired.

Harris, Fiers, McHugh, Springer and Marisnick are in their first year of arbitration; Keuchel and Gonzalez are in their second year.

Players become eligible for arbitration after they've acquired at least three years and less than six years of Major League service time. Springer and Marisnick are considered Super Two, which means they're eligible for arbitration because they're in the top 22 percent in terms of players with at least two and less than three years of service time.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.