A.J. Hinch Reportedly Agrees to Contract Extension with Houston Astros

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch watches batting practice before the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Houston Astros won their first World Series in franchise history last year and will reportedly keep the manager who helped lead them there for the foreseeable future. 

According to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston, the Astros plan on announcing a contract extension for manager A.J. Hinch on Thursday. Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reported the deal was for four years. 

Jake Kaplan of The Athletic noted Hinch's contract prior to this reported extension lasted through the remainder of this season with a club option for the 2019 campaign.

"A.J.'s doing a terrific job. The staff's doing a terrific job," general manager Jeff Luhnow said after the Astros signed him through 2023, per Kaplan. "There will be a point in time where we're going to address A.J.'s situation, and my goal is to have him here as my manager for as long as I'm here. But we'll address that at the appropriate time."

That appropriate time has clearly arrived and it comes after an initial run of success for the manager since the Astros hired him prior to the 2015 season.

Houston was coming off nine straight years of missing the playoffs before hiring Hinch and had fallen on hard times since the days of Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman. However, the manager led it to the playoffs in his first season at 86-76 and still finished with a winning record at 84-78 in 2016 even though the team missed the postseason.

The Astros then dominated throughout the 2017 campaign on the way to 101 regular-season wins and the World Series title and are again in ideal position in 2018 at 82-51 and 2.5 games ahead of the Oakland Athletics in the American League West.

There are now no potential for lingering concerns about his contract moving forward for Hinch, and he can focus on maintaining the Astros atop the baseball world.

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