The Astros and reliever Ryan Pressly are in agreement on a two-year, $30MM extension, per Robert Murray of FanSided. There is also a vesting option for 2025 that could take the deal up to $42MM. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Pressly will make $14MM in 2023 and 2024, along with a $2MM buyout on the 2025 option. (Twitter links) Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle relays that the $14MM option for 2025 will vest with 50 appearances in both 2023 and 2024. Pressly is represented by Scott Lonergan of the Ballengee Group.
This is the second time in Pressly’s career where he has signed an extension with the Astros while one year away from free agency. In March of 2019, the two sides agreed to a two-year extension that came with a $17.5MM guarantee, covering the 2020 and 2021 campaigns, along with a $10MM vesting option for 2022. Pressly needed to make 60 appearances in each of the 2020 and 2021 campaigns in order to vest the option, which he did. (In the shortened 2020 campaigns, all thresholds of this kind were prorated by 2.7, meaning Pressly’s 23 games were counted as just over 62 appearances.) Once again, Pressly has been locked up to keep him from hitting the open market.
As noted by Murray, this deal makes Pressly one of the highest-paid relievers in baseball and is the largest contract ever given to an Astros reliever. The fact that the Astros are willing to commit to Pressly in this way is hardly surprising based on his performance. Just months prior to the first extension, Pressly was acquired by Houston from Minnesota in a 2018 deadline deal. After the trade, Pressly took his game to new heights, something he later credited to Houston’s analytics department. As a Twin in 2018, he pitched 47 2/3 innings with a 3.40 ERA, 33.2% strikeout rate and 9.1% walk rate. Although those were already quality numbers, his post-trade work resulted in an ERA of 0.77 over 23 1/3 innings with a 38.1% strikeout rate and 3.6% walk rate.
Although Pressly couldn’t quite maintain the gaudy level of that small sample, he has still been one of the better relievers in the league since the signing of his previous deal. In the past three seasons, he’s logged 139 1/3 innings with a 2.45 ERA, 33% strikeout rate and 5.8% walk rate. Among relievers with at least 130 innings in that time, his ERA trails only Liam Hendriks and Josh Hader, with that strikeout rate coming in seventh and walk rate coming in sixth.
Now 33, this deal will keep Pressly in Houston through his age-35 season, and possibly for another year after that with the vesting option. For the Astros, they set a franchise record last year with a payroll of $187MM, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts. For this season, they’ve dropped down to around $174MM, per Jason Martinez of Roster Resource. That’s largely due to letting certain players walk, such as Carlos Correa and Zack Greinke. When this extension kicks in next year, there could be even more payroll flexibility, as Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel, Jason Castro, Aledmys Diaz and Rafael Montero are all set to hit free agency. There are also various players who have options for next year, such as Justin Verlander, Jake Odorizzi, Pedro Baez and Martin Maldonado. That means that, prior to this extension, there were just four players with guaranteed contracts for the 2023 campaign: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Lance McCullers Jr. and Hector Neris.
In the end, the Astros get one of the best relievers in the game for a few more years, while Pressley gets the biggest payday of his career, one that pays him like the elite pitcher he is.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
Not a bad deal.
That’s exactly what a top reliever needs to be paid.
That’s….a lot of money. Top-tier reliever money, in fact.
Pressly is tied for 2nd in WAR among all qualified relivers over the last two seasons. Only Liam Hendriks has more.
WAR is a horrible stat to evaluate relievers, but I agree that he is probably one of the few relievers that deserve that type of money
Good thing he’s a…. top reliever.
Which he is
Good for him! He’s impressed for quite a few years now.
I couldn’t believe it when the Twins traded him.
Sure, the Astros reworked him some, but he was showing improvement in 2018 and they were short relief pitchers. Great for him tough!
Extremely unimpressed with the Twins FO. Always in circles.
The Twins were also the original team with Liam Hendriks , Nick Anderson , JT Chargois
The list goes on and on , and now they’re ‘stuck’ with Jorge Alcala and Joe smith et al
The Twins also cut Matt Wisler after he dominated for them the year before. I was really confused by that one.
John Rocker Fan Club
Kids, this is why you use sticky stuff.
Kids, don’t grow up to sit on your couch and gawk at people who actually tried in life.
John Rocker Fan Club
Jokes on you, I don’t have a couch.
Brilliant. Very well done sir.
Then where do you sit when pounding your Doritos and Keystone Light?
You Can Put It In The Books
Oh his sister’s face.
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
I got so much laughter from “on his sisters face”
Sure, back when he first joined the Astros – that’s the secret behind their little pitching lab…but they check for it now. So how’s he getting away with it? But yeah, crime DOES pay in MLB.
Well, if’s he’s a 2.43 ERA/2.06 FIP pitcher post sticky-substance crackdown, then he must be pretty darn good.
Wow, didn’t know he was an A-list closer now.
He’s been a good reliver overall for the past 4 seasons. He’s earned it.
Still wish Raisel was signed
I wish they re-signed Graveman.
Must not watch baseball much
Pressley was the top set up man prior to closing. Might wanna watch the games a lil closer, bud
Hendriks and Pressley being 2 of the top 5-10 relievers in baseball sure sucks as a Twins fan lol.
Pressley was good with us but went insane once he got to Houston (wink wink), glad hes still preforming past the rule changes.
Hendriks was a soft tossing Aussie with the Twins, they totally missed on trying him in the pen to see what he could do without a starters workload.
I hear that, though Hendriks didn’t really breakout until several years after leaving the Twins.
Hopefully the Twins will take the lesson with fellow Aussie starter, Lewis Thorpe and deploy him in the bullpen before he blossoms elsewhere.
Jays fans. Had Hendricks first. And Graveman. And two other relievers given big bucks this year. Tepera and Loup. Also originally had the bum imo Met/Yankee Castro. All homegrown jays. So there you go. Happens all the time. Starter Syndegard originally a Jay
Wow!! Terrible deal. 2 years and $30M for a reliever. When will the madness end?!?!
Astros are my squad and have usually done a great job avoiding this nonsense. Guess every team gets foolish sometimes.
He is the Astros best bullpen pitcher by far. He’s been effective even after the sticky ban. He’s earned it.
I agree he’s a great reliever but they are so fickle I don’t believe in signing them to big deals.
2 years isn’t a big deal.
Well I suppose the length is fine
Good for him.
Not good for my squad ha ha.
That’s a hunka hunka Houston’s payroll.
Hypothetical question for fans of the other 27 teams…
Which team winning the World Series in 2022 would bother you the least out of the Astros, Dodgers and Braves?
Easily the Braves. Don’t see how it could possibly be close.
idiot question sorry, the braves…
The idea to see just how much people hate or don’t hate the Dodgers and Astros by giving them the option of seeing one of those teams win or seeing a team repeat.
Another vote for the Braves here. When the options are:
1. the poster boys for cheating, a number of whom never even apologized for it
2. a team that spends like the late 90’s Yankees, but wins like the 90’s Braves
3. a team that made a Cinderella run without their best player
the choice is going to be pretty clear for everyone who’s not an Astros or Dodgers fan.
Every single person on the 2017 has apologized. Your refusal to acknowledge it doesn’t change that fact.
Deal me in on the Braves.
The Astros winning right after Correa leaves would be cool
Astros Hot Takes
Yow! Good job, Ryan. Really miss you on the Twins.
But that was back when ownership thought a million or a two was too much.
I guess the Astros aren’t worried about his velocity being down during spring training.
Nobody should be worried about spring training.
Fascinating how some guys get $20M a season for 4 or 5 years and its seen as a modest salary or an underpay and a guy like this gets $30M over 2 seasons or $42M over 3 seasons and we’re all like “holy frijoles that’s a lot of cheddar! Dude got paid!” because we all know it’s an overpay for what this guy brings to the table. Not a massive overpay, but still an overpay.
Probably only by like $3M a year, but still.
I guess they felt they needed to spend the money they saved on Correa and they’re spreading it around.
Why would correa have anything to do with pressly? He was a season from free agency and has been their best reliever for years now. He seems like a good teammate and performs well in the postseason. He’s not a guy you let leave whatsoever
Per the text of this article that you’ve commented on, Correa and Greinke leaving have afforded some payroll flexibility. Presumably, they’ve used some of it to extend Pressly.
That’s what Correa has to do with this.
They would of made this deal regardless of payroll. And regardless of correa. You dont pay attention to the Astros clearly. Jim crane is not afraid of the luxury tax. So your point is moot
You seem a little confused.
My point is that you didn’t read the article, which is becoming more apparent.
Had you read the article, you’d know that it was in fact the authors speculation re:correa, not mine.
Your point is moot. No wait, you’ve been muted. That’s what I meant to say. Good luck.
In what universe is this an overpay? The guy has been a top reliever for years.
I don’t know that it’s really an overpay. Only having to commit 2 years is nice. The option seems to be one that won’t kick in unless he’s good during those 2 years.
I think you nailed it. The $14M is about right, but the value is in the length. Just imho, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of downside risk to the Astros.
I’m glad all you keyboard warriors approve of his salary.
And we’re glad that you’re glad?
I’m extremely not glad at the moment, Joe. Yankees-Red Sox opener for tomorrow already postponed!
Yup, I know. I took the day off to celebrate Opening Day. I’ll just have to belly up to the bar at 4:00 for the NYM instead.