HOUSTON -- A sizable portion of the Astros' 2019 payroll will be occupied by players who are arbitration-eligible, meaning they have at least three and fewer than six years of Major League service time and have to negotiate a salary for next season with the club.Houston has 11 players who
HOUSTON -- A sizable portion of the Astros' 2019 payroll will be occupied by players who are arbitration-eligible, meaning they have at least three and fewer than six years of Major League service time and have to negotiate a salary for next season with the club.
Houston has 11 players who fall into that category, including stars Carlos Correa, Gerrit Cole and Roberto Osuna, as well as veterans Collin McHugh, Will Harris, Thomas Pressly and Jake Marisnick. Lance McCullers is also arbitration-eligible, but will miss the entire 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Other arbitration-eligible Astros are pitchers Brad Peacock and Chris Devenski, and catcher Chris Herrmann, who was plucked from waivers earlier this month. Those 11 could take up around $50 million of the Astros' payroll for next year if they're all tendered deals.
Houston has until 7 p.m. CT Friday to tender contracts. If players are tendered a contract, they are considered signed for 2019 and will have until Jan. 11 to work out a salary with the Astros. If the players are non-tendered, they immediately become free agents.
If the signed players and the club can't reach a deal prior to the Jan. 11 deadline, they head to an arbitration hearing that typically takes place in early February. Last year, Houston did not reach a deal with outfielder George Springer, pitcher Ken Giles or McHugh prior to the deadline. Giles and McHugh won their arbitration hearings. It was the second consecutive year McHugh won in arbitration.
The Astros, meanwhile, avoided arbitration with Springer by signing him to a two-year, $24-million deal that will take him through the 2019 season.
Houston could choose to save some money and non-tender some of their arbitration-eligible players, but that's unlikely. Marisnick and Harris are the only players from among the 11 who might warrant a non-tender, but both have enough value to either return next season or be used as a trade chip at some point this offseason.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow <ahref="http: twitter.com/brianmctaggart"="">@brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.</ahref="http:>