In news first broken by the Houston Chronicle’s Zachary Levine, Astros outfielder Hunter Pence has won his arbitration case against the Astros and was awarded a one-year, $6.9 million contract. The outfielder was the last arbitration eligible player in baseball who had not been given a contract or non-tendered yet.
Pence still has two years of arbitration left, and considering the raises often doled out in arbitration, this may push the Astros toward considering a cost-certainty contract with him next offseason over the next two years. Or perhaps towards a long-term extension.
Pence hit .282 with 25 homers last season, and has been a very good defender in right field over his career. He’s not quite a franchise player, but he’s a very good one. The Astros may have to decide sooner, rather than later, whether he’s worth franchise player money.