Altuve's ascension into stardom took another major leap forward in 2017 as the 27-year-old became the first Astro to bring home MVP honors since Jeff Bagwell was crowned N.L. MVP in 1994. Altuve led the American League in hits (204) for the fourth consecutive season and won the league's batting title with a career-high .346 average. His 24 home runs were also a career high and the superstar second baseman is firmly in play as the top overall player heading into 2018 fantasy drafts. The man can do it all.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski did not rule out bringing someone from outside the organization in, but with Hernandez, Brock Holt, Tzu-Wei Lin and Deven Marrero all in house, it seems they should be able to plug the hole internally. A shoulder injury cost Hernandez most of the 2017 season, but he has a career .284 average in 116 plate appearances and profiles as a quality defender at second base. Realistically, if the Red Sox go with Hernandez, he will still make way for their other internal options on occasion, and doesn't project to make enough impact with the bat over a short stretch to be useful in most formats.
Travis was out since early June after undergoing knee surgery to clean up the cartilage in his knee. Although the infielder was expected to make it back for the last month of the year, he suffered a setback that effectively ended any hopes of returning to the field. Over the course of 2017, he slashed .259/.291/.438 with five home runs and 24 RBI in 50 games.
No surprise here as the Astros will gladly pick up Altuve's modest contract for next season, with another club option on the horizon next year as well ($6.5 million). During the regular season, Altuve hit .346/.410/.547 with 24 home runs and 81 RBI, and then helped the team bring a World Series title home to Houston.
Miller underwent the surgery multiple weeks ago but the specifics of the procedure weren't revealed until Thursday. The surgery was performed to address issues in Miller's groin and lower abdominals, two areas that caused the veteran infielder a lot of trouble during the regular season. The surgery carries with it a six-week rehab time, so Miller should be back to full health when spring training rolls around.
Romine hit .233/.289/.336 with four home runs and 25 RBI during 124 games with the Tigers this past season, and will join the Mariners as a super-utility man. The 32-year-old is set to be the fourth or fifth outfielder for Seattle, while filling in for Robinson Cano, Jean Segura and Kyle Seager in the infield when they need some rest.
Hernandez landed on the disabled list in early May with a shoulder strain, and underwent season-ending surgery a few weeks later to stabilize the non-throwing arm. Although this move was just a formality, the infielder should be fully recovered for the start of spring training.
The Red Sox stated in a press release that an estimate for Pedroia to return to game action would come in approximately seven months. Dr. Riley Williams performed the "cartilage restoration procedure" on Pedroia's knee, which had clearly been hampering the second baseman over the last month. As the offseason moves along, there is sure to be more updates on Pedroia's status, including any changes to this initial timetable.
Pedroia had been weighing his options in the past couple weeks, but finally decided to move forward with the surgical route after meeting with a few specialists. This procedure could very well impact the second baseman's availability for the start of the 2018 season, but it appears to early to gauge at this point in time. Pedroia actually underwent a procedure almost a year ago due to meniscus damage in the same knee, which makes this injury all the more concerning. There will be updates throughout the winter on his status, to go along with a better idea of a timetable for his recovery.
He has already seen a couple specialists to gauge his options, and we should know which route he will take later this week. It sounds like the surgery in question could affect his availability for the start of 2018, so this could be a noteworthy offseason development. Brock Holt is the top internal option to plug a hole at the keystone if Pedroia ends up missing time next season.