Houston — World Series MVP George Springer planted the Astros’ championship trophy at the front of a fire truck to a cheering crowd as the team began their victory parade Friday, with orange and blue confetti raining down as they passed tens of thousands of fans downtown.
Four military jets soared above a sea of orange and blue T-shirts, jerseys, pennants and banners along the 20-block parade route, which was quickly extended to accommodate the larger-than-expected crowd.
“This is amazing. This is awesome,” GM Jeff Luhnow said from atop a float that carried a giant baseball. “Everybody is smiling. We’ve been excited all day.”
Astros players and manager A.J. Hinch waved at fans from the top of a double-decker bus as the parade started. Some fans threw caps and jerseys in their direction. Players autographed the items and tossed them back.
Former Tiger Justin Verlander missed the parade, amid reports he’s marrying Kate Upton this weekend in Italy.
The Astros took home their first championship in franchise history, against the Dodgers.
Ex-Tiger Justin Upton’s $106-million, five-year contract with the Angels backloads money and will save the team more than $6 million next season and $4 million in 2019. He also receives a full no-trade provision.
Upton signed a $132.75-million, six-year deal with Detroit before the 2016 season that called for him to receive $22,125,000 annually and gave him the right to opt out after the 2017 season and forfeit the remaining $88.5 million. His new deal adds $17.5 million and an additional season.
Around the horn
Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka will not opt out of the final three years of his contract.
... The Astros picked up options for second baseman Jose Altuve ($6 million) and infielder Marwin Gonzalez ($5.125M).
... The Indians picked up options for outfielder Michael Brantley ($11 million) and pitcher Josh Tomlin ($3 million).
... Royals reliever Mike Minor will decline his $10-million mutual option, per MLB.com.
... The Pirates picked up outfielder Andrew McCutchen’s $14.5.-million option.
... Nationals catcher Matt Wieters will exercise his $10.5-million option, per MLB.com.
... The Marlins declined veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki’s $2-million option.
... The Orioles declined options on shortstop J.J. Hardy ($14 million) and lefty Wade Miley ($12 million).
... The Mets picked up infielder Asdrubal Cabrera’s $8.5-million option.