HOUSTON -- The Astros avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on one-year deals with former American League Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, right fielder George Springer and center fielder Jake Marisnick, the club announced on Friday.
According to sources, Keuchel is due to earn $9.15 million in 2017, while Springer will make $3.9 million and Marisnick $1.1 million.
The Astros didn't reach deals with their four remaining arbitration-eligible players: pitchers Will Harris, Mike Fiers and Collin McHugh and utility player Marwin Gonzalez. The team and the agents for the players have submitted numbers for their desired salaries for 2017, and both sides can continue negotiating until arbitration hearings begin in a couple of weeks.McHugh filed for $3.85 million, and the Astros filed for $3.35 million. Harris filed for $2.3 million, and the Astros filed for $1.95 million. Gonzalez filed for $4.2 million, and the Astros for $3.25 million. Fiers filed for $3.9 million, and the Astros for $3 million.
Keuchel, who made $7.25 million last season, is in his second year of arbitration. The left-hander went 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA in 26 starts last year before missing the final month of the season with shoulder inflammation.
"Just like last year, just to get the deal done is nice and just focus on baseball now," Keuchel said. "I had a down year and didn't pitch as well. I wasn't expecting as big of a bump as I did the first year [of arbitration]. But I'm healthy now, so I'm in a better place."
The Astros and Keuchel have briefly discussed a long-term deal in the past, and that figures to become more of a front-burner item as he gets closer to free agency (following the 2018 season).
"It would be nice to have some security and look towards the future, but at the same time my goal is this team as much as possible and hopefully bring a World Series championship to the city," he said. "If there's something beneficial for both sides, you'll see a deal done, but at the same time I have to take care of myself and my family and hopefully generations after that."
Springer hit .261/.359/.457 with a career-high 29 home runs and 82 RBIs in his third Major League season, while playing all of Houston's 162 games and leading the Majors in plate appearances. His 4.5 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs, ranked eighth among big league outfielders. This is the 27-year-old's first year of arbitration eligibility, as a Super Two player.
Marisnick appeared in 118 games last year, hitting .209 with five homers, 21 RBIs and 10 stolen bases, but he's considered the team's top defensive outfielder. With the signing of Norichika Aoki and Josh Reddick this offseason, Marisnick will be battling for playing time.
"It's good," Marisnick said. "I can focus on baseball, you know?"
The Astros have had one case go to an arbitration hearing since 2011. That came last year, when catcher Jason Castro lost his case and was paid $5 million instead of the $5.25 million he desired. Castro was the first Astros player to go to an arbitration hearing since outfielder Hunter Pence won a ruling for $6.9 million.
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.