Astros prolong budding AL West rivalry with Texas Rangers by extending arch-nemesis

Looks like things are going to stay hot in the Lone Star State for the next several years.
Oct 18, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) bats against the
Oct 18, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) bats against the / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There are players that are easy to root for, some that are effortless to loathe, and then there is Jose Altuve. As a Texas Rangers fan, Altuve is a thorn in our side. From a baseball fan perspective, it is hard to find a player more likeable. Even with the trash can and buzzer cloud that circles him, there is no denying the fact that he is one of the best players in the game. The Astros signed Altuve to a five-year, $125 million contract extension. Set to hit free agency after this coming season, he will now be wreaking havoc in the AL West for the next six years.

The Astros core team is getting older, but they are still solid. This move that they made in extending Altuve will not only keep him in Houston for probably his entire career, but it will also give them the flexibility to keep Kyle Tucker when he becomes a free agent after the 2025 season. Altuve's new deal includes a $15 million signing bonus, $30 million salary for 2025-27, and $10 million each year in 2028-29. He will now, not become a free agent until his 40-year-old season.

The Rangers vs Astros rivalry is one that hit a fever pitch this past October in the epic seven game ALCS. Altuve played a huge role in that series and has been somewhat of a Rangers killer for years. On a positive note, the Rangers were able to prevail in the postseason over the Astros despite being dominated by them in the regular season. Rivalries are only genuine when both teams are on an equal playing ground. For years either the Rangers first, or then the Astros have controlled their meetings. But now, with both teams in a competitive state, this is bound to lead to many more classic matchups over the next several years.

The Astros shored up a key part of their core team in signing Altuve to his extension. Like it or not, Ranges fans, we are going to have to deal with the pesky second baseman until he decides to hangup his cleats. The good news is, the Rangers showed that they can overcome his timely home runs and still come out on top. Get your popcorn ready, this is going to be fun!

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