Having established himself as one of the best designated hitters in Major League Baseball over the past four seasons, Yordan Alvarez has been rewarded with a long-term contract extension from the Houston Astros.
Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, Alvarez has agreed to a six-year, $115 million extension that begins with the 2023 season and is the largest deal ever given to a player whose primary position is designated hitter.
The deal will buy out all three of Alvarez's arbitration years and his first three years of free agency.
As a pre-arbitration player this season, Alvarez's $764,600 salary in 2022 is just above the MLB minimum ($700,000).
Born in Cuba, Alvarez defected in 2016 and established residency in Haiti. He received interest from an Astros scout when he was an international free agent, but James Wagner of the New York Times noted the team declined to sign him at the time due to penalties incurred from when it gave Yuli Gurriel a five-year, $47.5 million contract in July 2016.
Alvarez agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and received a $2 million signing bonus as an international free agent in June 2016. He was traded to the Astros two months later for reliever Josh Fields.
After spending two full seasons in the minors, the Astros called Alvarez up to the big leagues in June 2019. The 24-year-old went on to win American League Rookie of the Year after posting a .313/.412/.655 slash line and 27 homers in 87 games.
Alvarez was also named MVP of the 2021 ALCS when he hit .522/.539/.870 with five extra-base hits in six games against the Boston Red Sox.
In 278 games since the start of 2019, Alvarez has a .287/.370/.576 slash line with 75 home runs.
Despite some significant roster turnover in recent years, including losing Gerrit Cole and Carlos Correa as free agents, the Astros remain one of the best teams in MLB. Their 33-18 record entering play on Friday ranks second in the AL, behind only that of the New York Yankees (36-15).