Astros agree to terms with 6 players; Dubón headed to arbitration

January 12th, 2024

HOUSTON -- The Astros reached deals with six of their seven arbitration-eligible players on Thursday, including left-handed pitcher and right fielder , both of whom were second-year American League All-Stars last year.

The Astros also reached deals with right-handers , Luis Garcia and and outfielder , but couldn’t reach a deal with utility player , who is headed for an arbitration hearing. The team didn’t release terms of the deals, but they were revealed to by a source.

Here's what you need to know about the arbitration process:

Players with three or more years of Major League service time but fewer than six (when they qualify for free agency) can negotiate their salaries for the upcoming season. Those salaries are based primarily on comparable players who signed contracts in recent seasons. If the player and club cannot agree to terms, a hearing is scheduled in February. A panel of arbitrators will hear arguments from both sides, then select the salary figure provided by the player or the club.

What’s the situation for each arbitration-eligible Astros player?


RHP Bryan Abreu (first-time arbitration-eligible, $1.75 million salary for 2024): Abreu emerged as one of the best relievers in baseball in 2023 by posting a 1.75 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Across a career-high 72 innings, he struck out 100 batters to 31 walks and held opponents to a .177 batting average. He threw 8 1/3 innings in nine playoff appearances, posting a 4.32 ERA.

RHP Luis Garcia (first-time arbitration-eligible, $1.85 million salary): Coming off a 15-win season in 2022, Garcia made only six starts in ‘23, going 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA before he suffered an injury and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in May.

OF Chas McCormick (first-time arbitration-eligible, $2.85 million salary): McCormick had a breakout season in 2023, hitting .273 with 22 homers, 19 stolen bases and 70 RBIs while making 51 starts in center field, 45 in left field and nine in right field. He led the Astros with three multi-homer games, and was 8-for-28 in the postseason with a home run.

RF Kyle Tucker (second-time arbitration-eligible, $12 million salary): Tucker, who slashed .284/.369/.517 with 29 homers, 30 steals and an American League-leading 112 RBIs, finished fifth in AL MVP voting. Last year, he made $5 million after losing an arbitration hearing in which he was seeking $7.5 million.

RHP José Urquidy (second-time arbitration-eligible, $3.75 million salary): Urquidy pitched in only 16 games (10 starts) last season, going 3-3 with a 5.29 ERA. He left his sixth start of the season with right shoulder discomfort and missed three months before returning to the mound in August. He made three appearances (two starts) in the postseason and posted a 5.40 ERA.

LHP Framber Valdez (second-time arbitration-eligible, $12.1 million salary): Valdez, who made $6.8 million last year, went 12-11 with a 3.45 ERA but didn’t pitch as well in the second half of the season. After going 7-6 with a 2.51 ERA in his first 17 starts, he was 5-5 with a 4.66 ERA in his final 14 starts, which included an Aug. 1 no-hitter against Cleveland. He lost all three of his playoff starts, posting a 9.00 ERA.


IF/OF Mauricio Dubón (first-time arbitration-eligible: Unless a deal can be reached, Dubón’s 2024 salary will be determined at an arbitration hearing in the coming weeks. He had a breakout season for the Astros, hitting .278 with 10 homers and 46 RBIs and winning his first Gold Glove as the utility player in the AL. He began the season as the starting second baseman for injured Jose Altuve and had a 20-game hitting streak in April. Dubón set career highs in nearly every offensive category while making 66 starts at second base, 24 in center field, nine at shortstop, six in left field and two at first base.