The Astros and normal supervisor Dana Brown have been open about their curiosity in signing extensions with infielders Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, however the former could also be extra probably than the latter. Per Bob Nightengale of USA In the present day, a high-ranking govt with the membership mentioned they need Altuve for the remainder of his profession however are extremely skeptical of getting one thing carried out with Bregman as effectively.
Bregman, 30 in March, already signed one extension with the Astros. Going into the 2019 season, he and the membership agreed to a five-year pact with a $100MM assure. He already had a 2019 wage in place, with that deal masking the 2020-2024 seasons. That leaves only one 12 months and $28.5MM left on the contract.
When pen was put to paper that point, Bregman was in between his two finest seasons. In 2018, he launched 31 dwelling runs and stole 10 bases, resulting in a batting line of .286/.394/.532 and wRC+ of 157. He obtained sturdy grades for his protection at third and even performed a satisfactory shortstop for a part of the 12 months, main to eight.0 wins above substitute per FanGraphs and a fifth-place end within the voting for American League Most Worthwhile Participant. The following 12 months, he solely stole 5 bases however his homer tally jumped to 41 and his on-base share was nearly 30 factors larger. That was the “juiced ball” season so his wRC+ solely elevated barely to 167, however he completed second to Mike Trout in MVP voting that 12 months.
Since then, Bregman has settled in a bit under that stage, nonetheless an excellent participant however not fairly MVP caliber. The previous two seasons have seen him mix for 48 dwelling runs and a .261/.364/.447 batting line, which interprets to a wRC+ of 131. He produced 9.8 fWAR over the 2 years mixed.
Although that technically qualifies as diminished manufacturing relative to his 2018-2019 peak, it’s nonetheless wonderful work general. Solely 21 place gamers had the next fWAR tally in 2022-2023, with Bregman fourth amongst common third basemen behind simply José Ramírez, Manny Machado and Austin Riley.
As of proper now, Bregman is about to hit free company upfront of his age-31 season, which nonetheless strains him up for a strong payday. Marcus Semien was additionally an above-average infielder who usually produced a bit under MVP ranges when he obtained $175MM from the Rangers two years in the past. Bregman’s former teammate George Springer was capable of get $150MM going into his age-31 season. Freddie Freeman nabbed an MVP award in 2020 however was a bit restricted as a free agent since he solely performed first base and was going into his age-32 season, although he nonetheless obtained himself $162MM.
One thing in that vary must be attainable for Bregman however it will not be from the Astros. The membership has usually prevented long-term offers that run deep right into a participant’s profession, letting guys like Springer, Carlos Correa and others stroll away and receives a commission elsewhere. That technique has continued to work out for them to this point, as they simply made the ALCS for a seventh straight season, however there are some pivot factors developing. Altuve and Bregman are each set to turn into free brokers after 2024, with Justin Verlander maybe becoming a member of them relying on his vesting possibility. One 12 months later, will probably be Kyle Tucker, Framber Valdez, José Abreu and others.
With such a major chunk of their core nearing free company, it’s not shocking that they need to pivot from their commonplace playbook with the intention to attempt to hold that mass exodus from coming to fruition. Issues can all the time change however it appears the present feeling is that Altuve will get carried out however Bregman gained’t. The membership already has some important offers for youthful gamers on the books going ahead, with Yordan Alvarez signed by 2028, Cristian Javier by 2027 and Lance McCullers Jr. 2026. Maybe these offers, and a theoretical Altuve contract, don’t depart a lot room for Bregman. Or maybe Bregman merely desires to check the open market after having already signed one important extension and banking 9 figures.
It’s unclear if there are any strict timelines on negotiations, with Spring Coaching being the most typical time for extensions to be hammered out. Presently of 12 months, golf equipment often want to concentrate on bringing in new gamers from free company and trades, earlier than pivoting again to talks with their incumbent gamers in February and March. Nevertheless, the Astros don’t appear to have an enormous to-do record this winter, with Brown just lately itemizing backup catcher and the bullpen as priorities. Maybe that offers them a little bit of respiratory room this winter to have some detailed talks with Scott Boras, who represents each Altuve and Bregman, to see if something can get carried out. Boras will definitely be busy although, as he’s representing a pile of this winter’s free brokers, together with Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery and plenty of extra.