The Houston Astros aren’t letting A.J. Hinch get away anytime soon. According to multiple reports, the Astros are set to announce a contract extension for their World Series-winning manager on Thursday.
Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston was the first to report a deal was in place immediately following Houston’s thrilling 5-4 win against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday afternoon. Details of the new deal are not yet available. Hinch’s contract was set to expire after this season, but did include a club option for 2019.
What is A.J. Hinch’s managerial track record?
Hinch previously served as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was hired five weeks into the 2009 season and fired before the 2010 All-Star break after posting an 89-123 record.
Many questioned the hiring given Hinch’s lack of experience. He was 34 at the time, and had not managed previously. Many also questioned the firing, wondering if Hinch was really given a fair shake. Regardless of the circumstances, Hinch has clearly put that chapter of his career behind him.
The 44-year-old former major leaguer is now in his fourth season as Astros manager. With Wednesday’s win, he guaranteed it will be his fourth winning season as well.
Hinch appears to have been a near perfect choice to bridge Houston from its six-year rebuild to a perennial contender. After winning 86 and 84 games, respectively, in his first two seasons as the Houston manager, Hinch helped Houston take the next level in 2017. The Astros finished with 101 wins, second only to their 102-win season in 1998.
Of course, the 2017 season was capped off with a World Series championship. That’s something no other manager in Astros franchise history can lay claim to.
Strong connection with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow
In June, General manager Jeff Luhnow received a contract extension that will keep him in Houston through the 2023 season. At the time, he said he hoped to work out a new deal that would keep Hinch in Houston for as long as he’s the GM. That might give us some hint on the length of Hinch’s deal.
Regardless, it’s no surprise at all that a new agreement was reached. The Astros have enjoyed unprecedented success under the Luhnow and Hinch duo, with the franchise’s first-ever World Series win last season being the ultimate achievement.
With a strong core of players in place, and with the team’s leadership now looking to be sturdy for several more seasons, the Astros seem destined to be contenders for a long time.
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