Astros Near Extension With Matt Dominguez, Discuss Extension With Robbie Grossman

FRIDAY: Drellich now indicates (via Twitter) that Passan was correct, meaning that Dominguez and the Astros are close on an extension.

THURSDAY: The Astros are nearing agreement on a five-year extension with Matt Dominguez, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweets. (A source tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle that a deal is not close, however, and that the two parties are not currently in the midst of extension talks.) The deal will be worth around $17MM and will contain two club options worth about $8MM and $10MM. Dominguez is represented by Elite Sports Group.

Dominguez currently has one year and 62 days of service time, which means he would be arbitration-eligible following the 2015 season and eligible for free agency following the 2018 season. A five-year deal would control Dominguez's salary for all of those five seasons through 2018, and the club options would give the Astros control over 2019 and 2020 as well. Dominguez hit .241/.286/.403 in 589 plate appearances last season while playing roughly average defense at third base.

Extensions for average or slightly-below-average players with so little service time are relatively rare, so it's hard to find appropriate precedents for a five-year extension for Dominguez. The Pirates' six-year, $15MM extension with Jose Tabata, signed all the way back in 2011, might be a start. The extension market has obviously changed dramatically since then, but Tabata's case shows how harmless an inexpensive long-term deal can be — Tabata hasn't met expectations and will likely become a fourth outfielder after the Pirates promote Gregory Polanco, and his contract still doesn't seem to be much of an issue for the Bucs.

Passan also tweets that the Astros have also talked to Robbie Grossman, who is represented by LSW Baseball, about an extension. Grossman would seem to fit into a similar category as Dominguez, in that he has little service time (less than a year) and isn't generally perceived as having superstar upside (although he kept his head above water in his rookie season in 2013, hitting .268/.332/.370 in 288 plate appearances). As with Dominguez, the Astros would presumably aim for a low-cost deal that includes at least one team option. The Astros also recently offered an extension to prospect George Springer.


20 Responses to Astros Near Extension With Matt Dominguez, Discuss Extension With Robbie Grossman Leave a Reply

  1. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Given the deals Arruebarrena, Guerrero and Diaz signed this offseason this looks like a good deal for the Astros.

    • Metsfan93 1 year ago

      How does Diaz’ 4/8 deal make 5/17 look good?

      • Guest 1 year ago

        Diaz has less MLB experience and is farther away from being MLB ready than Arruebarrena, Guerrero or Dominguez. His 4/8 deal very well may not cover his arbitration years. All 3 of those deals raised the price of deals for players with 0-1 year of service time.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Diaz is a lot further from MLB ready than Arruebarrena, Guerrero or Dominguez. His 4/8 deal very well may not even cover his arbitration years. It helped redefine the market for players with 0 years of service time and several years in the minors ahead of them.

        • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

          The problem with using Diaz as a comparison is he was a free agent, not someone signing an extension who is still under club control for 5 more years. I think when it comes to guys like Diaz, you have to approach the 8 million more like a signing bonus for an amateur, even if it is a high bonus amount. While it might be an MLB contract, I wouldn’t use that as a gauge for current MLB players, just as I wouldn’t have used a top draft pick’s MLB contracts as guidelines in the recent past.

  2. Jeffy25 1 year ago

    Busy

  3. Kennon Riley 1 year ago

    I guess being 8th in HR among third base is just average

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Dominguez’s 21 HRs combine with his .286 OBP to make an average or slightly-below-average player.

      • Kennon Riley 1 year ago

        Yes, but his second-half performance makes him a candidate for a better season in 2014. His slash line after the all star break was .260/.323/.430 and there is no reason for him to not continue his development.

      • oremlk 1 year ago

        He is, however, an above average defensive player at third base, which boosts his value somewhat.

    • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

      Well, being 21st out of 21 in OBP makes him pretty far below average. He also ranked 136th out of 141 in OBP in all of baseball last year.

      He may hit HR at a decent clip, but he makes outs more than anybody else at his position and more than just about anybody who isn’t an all glove MIF.

      • Kennon Riley 1 year ago

        You should also take into consideration he had virtually no protection last season in the Astros lineup. As the team strengthens over the next couple of seasons, people will start to notice him tap into his potential.

        • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

          His protection in the lineup means virtually nothing, but he is young enough to still have some hope. Unfortunately, his bat hasn’t really shown much in the minors either. On the plus side, even though he was only about average last year, he has a reputation as a plus fielder. If he can continue to improve and become the plus fielder with average to above average power he has some value, even with his suspect hit tool.

          That being said, if anyone in his camp tells him not to take this proposed offer they are doing him a huge disservice. There is a decent chance that Dominguez turns out as nothing better than a utility CIF and should jump at the opportunity to secure some income and set his family up for life.

  4. xHoratiox 1 year ago

    Always liked Robbie in Pittsburgh but he didn’t have any room to get playing time. Take the loot and run!

  5. Ruben_Tomorrow 1 year ago

    The money is good for the team in situations with players like these, but that’s an awfully long commitment to players that really don’t project to be cornerstone pieces of a successful ball club. It’s probably a good deal for these players because they are getting job security, whereas if they played on decent teams they could face the possibility of being DFA’d down the line.

    • Jeffy25 1 year ago

      Cheap, controllable depth…and cost certainty.

      It’s good to know who some of your players are at the very least

  6. sourbob 1 year ago

    This is probably a goofy question. But… other than the pride factor of players always wanting to see their salaries go up, is there a practical reason why rebuilding teams with comparatively low payrolls like the Astros can’t heavily frontload contracts to guys like Dominguez? That is, since they don’t have to spend much now, couldn’t they give Dominguez $9MM this year, then spread the other 8 out over four years? That way, they’d have additional flexibility in the coming years as their rebuild starts to pay off.

    Just thinking out loud.

    • JamieMoyer 1 year ago

      In pretty much every case, contracts that are backloaded are friendly to a team than ones that are front loaded simply because of inflation. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar in 5 years, making the backloaded contract more valuable.

      Also, there’s nothing stopping the team from using the money saves the last few years to have artificially high payrolls for a few years in the future, so the backloaded deals wouldn’t hurt the team.

    • Jeffy25 1 year ago

      Back loading is basically interest free loans on the money for the clubs.

      It’s always beneficial to backload.

      Time value of money

  7. davengmusic 1 year ago

    Dominguez is only 24. He’s made some improvements over the years (although his vaunted defense was a bit disappointing last year). If it works out, great. If not, you flip him for someone else. Luhnow lookin’ good!

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