Astros catcher/designated hitter Evan Gattis tells Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston that the team has informed him that his $5.2MM club option for the 2017 season will be exercised (Twitter link). Houston could have otherwise bought out the option for $100K and retained Gattis via arbitration, but he’ll instead have his 2017 salary locked in at that amount.
Gattis, 30, saw his offensive output take a step forward with the Astros in 2016, as he batted .251/.319/.508 with a career-high 32 home runs. Gattis’ average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage each represented increases from his 2015 season as well, and he returned to part-time catching duties (55 games) after spending all of 2015 as an outfielder/DH, making the decision an even easier one for Houston. Gattis will be arbitration-eligible next winter and is controllable through the 2018 season before he can test the open market in search of his first free-agent deal.
With Jason Castro set to hit the open market, Gattis currently lines up as Houston’s primary receiver in 2017, with Max Stassi, Tyler Heineman and Roberto Pena representing other internal options. However, the Astros also figure to pursue a reunion with Castro and check in with other free-agent backstops this winter as well.