On October 19 , 1987 — 1987 – In one of his final acts as General Manager, Dick Wagner decides to exercise a contract option on Nolan Ryan. It was a strange year for the Express, leading the league in strikeouts and ERA but suffering an 8-16 record. The Astros could have either paid the 40-year-old righthander an estimated $1.3 million or released him to free agency. 


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