The Astros reached agreement with manager A.J. Hinch on a “revised” contract at some point earlier in the offseason, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports. His new agreement is said to increase his earnings and “put him in position to remain with the club longer.” All told, says Drellich, Hinch now appears to have a guaranteed term that runs through 2018.
Precise details remain hazy in large part because the exact terms of Hinch’s original contract were never entirely clear. Reports at the time pegged it at three years and an option, but he has suggested that may not have been the case.
Regardless of whether this deal is properly termed an extension, or whether it is just includes the exercise of an option year, it obviously reflects an enhanced commitment from the organization. Hinch impressed on all fronts last year, bringing a broad skillset to the job and drawing positive reviews from GM Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane.
The proof was in the pudding, of course, as the new-look ’Stros surged to the post-season and very nearly took the AL West. With a host of exciting young players returning, and a few key additions plugged in over the winter, expectations are high in Houston for 2016. That doesn’t mean a repeat will be easy; the entire American League has hopes of contending, and the western division in particular seems wide open.