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Astros plan to be wise when weighing extensions

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HOUSTON -- Considering the number of young players the Astros have on their roster whom they believe will be a part of their future, general manager Jeff Luhnow said the club has to be careful when it ponders offering contract extensions.

Among those who have reportedly been offered extensions are outfielder Robbie Grossman, third baseman Matt Dominguez and No. 3 prospect George Springer.

The Angels recently signed superstar outfielder Mike Trout to a six-year, $144.5 million extension to buy out three arbitration years as well as three years of free agency, and while the Astros aren't quite ready to offer that kind of money, locking up young players to team-friendly contracts is a priority.

"I think it's up to the players to hit the number they're comfortable with and we're comfortable with," owner Jim Crane said. "I asked Jeff yesterday, and I said I thought the Trout deal was a pretty good deal, locking the kid up for six, seven years.

"Although it's significant years, it appears to be a team-friendly deal and gives him a lot of security. I think it works on both sides, and I think you'll see us do some of those down the road."

Last year, the Astros signed second baseman Jose Altuve to a $12.5 million contract extension for four years, with two club options worth $6 million and $6.5 million, respectively. Luhnow has said he would like to extend All-Star catcher Jason Castro at some point.

"We're going to have to be really smart about who we decide to lock up long term and whether or not we decide to buy out their arbitration years," Luhnow said. "The reality is we have that conversation on every player we think is going to be here for more than a few years.

"Whether or not it turns into a deal, there's a lot that has to fall into place. We did it last year with Altuve, and maybe there will be someone else we do it with this year. We'll certainly do our part to make sure we're prepared."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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