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.