George Springer Rumors: Astros Star 'Does Not Want to Return' in Free Agency

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2020

Houston Astros George Springer reacts after scoring on a single by Jose Altuve against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning in Game 6 of a baseball American League Championship Series, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

The Houston Astros have made it clear they want George Springer back.

The feeling does not appear to be mutual.

Patrick Creighton of ESPN 97.5 Houston reported Monday that Springer, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, "does not want to return" to the Astros.

The outfielder is widely considered one of the top free agents on the market and perhaps the best everyday player available this winter.

Springer, a three-time All-Star and 2017 World Series MVP, hit .265/.359/.540 with 14 home runs and 32 runs batted during MLB's shortened 2020 season. His 1.9 wins above replacement tied for 39th among all players.

The Astros could be headed toward an exodus of outfield talent with Josh Reddick and Michael Brantley also set for free agency. General manager James Click told reporters the team will assess the short-term and long-term financial implications of any move this offseason amid the COVID-19 pandemic:

"Our spending is going to be dependent on what we think 2021 is going to look like operationally and what the market bears out as a result of that. But George Springer, Michael Brantley, it's obvious to everybody how good they are at the game of baseball right now and how much they bring to this team on and off the field. The question is always, we balance everything and make sure that we put this team in a position to succeed, not only in the short term and long term."

It's unclear how teams will choose to spend this offseason, though it seems certain they will be more frugal than in a typical winter. That may limit the number of suitors for Springer, but at age 31, this will be his best chance to score a lucrative long-term deal. He'll likely sign with the highest bidder on the open market, Houston or elsewhere.

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