HOUSTON - The major league baseball deadline for clubs to extend qualifying offers to their free agents came Friday and the Astros made the offer to just one player. They extended a qualifying offer to pitcher Dallas Keuchel, which, if he accepts would be a one-year deal worth $17.9 million next season.
The team had the option of extending qualifying offers to utility player Marwin Gonzalez, designated hitter Evan Gattis and pitcher Charlie Morton, but elected not to.
Gonzalez struggled in the regular season, hitting .247 with an .OPS of .733 with 68 RBI. He had a strong postseason, driving in a team-leading nine RBI. In 2017, he hit .303 with a .907 OPS and a team-leading 90 RBI.
Gattis did not have a productive 2018. He was fantastic in June driving in 30 runs and winning an AL player of the week honor. However, he only drove in 48 runs in the other five months combined. He had just four at-bats in the postseason, all as a pinch-hitter. He went 0-4.
Morton led the league in winning percentage in 2018, finishing 15-3 with a 3.13 ERA. He was also an all-star for the first time in his career.
Keuchel has until Monday, November 12 to decide if he will accept the qualifying offer. It is expected that he will decline and become a free agent, free to test the market. Should he decline, the Astros will be awarded draft pick compensation. Only a small handful of players since this system was introduced have accepted the one-year qualifying offer.
Houston also declined the option on pitcher Will Harris. Harris remains arbitration-eligible with one more season of club control. Harris appeared in just one postseason game, allowing a run in one inning of work. He recorded the final out of the game 3 ALDS clincher in Cleveland. He was not on the ALCS roster.
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