One of the most talented outfielders in baseball could hit the open market, after all.
Astros veteran George Springer, who is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, doesn't want to return to Houston in 2021, ESPN 97.5's Patrick Creighton reported Tuesday.
Astros owner Jim Crane said prior to the 2020 season that re-signing Springer was a top priority, and reports this year suggested the team planned to offer their homegrown star a contract extension.
That extension still hasn't come, however, and it sounds like Springer's patience has run out.
The Athletic's Peter Gammons recently mused about the possibility of the Red Sox signing Springer, a Connecticut native who grew up a Boston fan. The fit makes some sense on paper -- especially if Jackie Bradley Jr. departs in free agency -- as Springer would jump-start a team that tied for the fifth-worst record in baseball this season.
But as our John Tomase points out, the Red Sox would need to give up their second-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft to acquire Springer assuming the Astros extend him a qualifying offer.
The three-time All-Star turned 31 in September, so if Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom is committed to a rebuild, he may be wary of giving up future assets to add a high-salary player to a club that may not contend next season.
Springer very well could land on one of Boston's American League competitors, though, so Red Sox fans should still monitor his free agency closely.