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Lance McCullers Jr., Astros Reportedly Agree to 5-Year, $85M Contract Extension

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIIMarch 24, 2021

Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws during the first inning in Game 2 of a baseball American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

The Houston Astros and pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. have reached an agreement on a five-year, $85 million extension, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The righty is entering his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery in November 2019 after making 11 starts in 2020. He finished with a 3-3 record with a 3.93 ERA, 56 strikeouts and a 1.164 WHIP.

Now he's locked in with the Astros for the better part of the decade. 

The deal reportedly carries no team options and a no-trade clause, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman

Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle adds the deal is both the longest and most lucrative handed out by Houston to a starting pitcher since Jim Crane gained control of the franchise in 2011. 

McCullers was the No. 41 overall pick of the 2012 MLB draft by a rebuilding Astros club and quickly became a cornerstone piece of a championship contender, earning an All-Star nod in 2017 as Houston went on to win the World Series the same season. 

The Florida native has posted a 32-25 career record with a 3.70 ERA and 565 strikeouts in 508.2 innings pitched. 

That was more than enough to convince Houston to keep him around a bit longer with a significant raise. 

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McCullers is finishing out a one-year, $6.5 million deal that features a $325,000 bonus. He'll now receive an annual average salary of $17 million. 

With fellow starters Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander set to become free agents before the 2022 season, the Astros have at least locked up one front-line starter who can help anchor the rotation regardless of what free agency brings in the coming years. 

That alone was worth handing out the extension to McCullers this spring.