The outfielder is in his final year of arbitration and is seeking over $22 million. The Astros' valuation is not even close to that number, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan, who reports that Houston is offering Springer just $17.5 million.
Springer may get his demands met by the arbitrator. Regardless, this gap in money could leave a sour taste in his mouth after he has seen so many of his teammates get major extensions. Given the controversial offseason the Astros have endured, it's possible Springer walks in free agency next year.
And one landing spot for the star outfielder could be in Boston. The Red Sox are widely expected to move on from Mookie Betts in the near future. The team agreed to a record-setting $27 million deal with the former AL MVP to avoid arbitration, but that doesn't rule out a possible trade.
The Red Sox clearly aren't prepared to commit to Betts beyond 2020, and should he end up leaving town next year, the team could be prepared to make a run at Springer in free agency.
With the Red Sox aiming to remain under the luxury tax threshold, Springer could represent an ideal replacement for Betts. The current discrepancy in contract talks between Houston and Springer could be what ultimately enables the Sox to come into play during free agency. The 30-year-old won't command as much money as Betts in any contract talks, and still has plenty of good years left in the tank.