Joel Blank takes a look at what moves the Astros need to make in the off-season to put themselves in the best position to make a long playoff run in 2019. There are some free agent decisions to be made, and a trade for a big bat would be icing on the cake.
Nov 29, 2023, 11:04 am
As Astros fans patiently wait for the club to make some moves in free agency, the Alex Bregman trade talk is picking up steam across several media outlets.
MLB Network Radio's Jim Duquette (also a former MLB GM) believes the Astros are listening to offers for Bregman because the team isn't planning on signing him to a massive contract extension.
Hearing same as Jim on this. Also, follow Jim’s still-new Twitter https://t.co/umaraPxitt
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) November 27, 2023
The Astros are right up against the tax threshold, and dealing Bregman would give the team more flexibility to maneuver in free agency. He's set to make around $30 million in 2024.
This is certainly something Houston fans are used to. Owner Jim Crane has made a habit of letting his top tier players walk in free agency. They'll likely offer him a contract, like they did with Carlos Correa. But the Astros aren't usually willing to pay market value, and other teams certainly will.
To be fair to the Astros, signing Bregman to an 8-10 year deal probably isn't the best way to spend their money. So if they don't plan on re-signing him, they have two choices. Keep him for one more year, or trade him.
However, this would be a departure from their standard operating procedure. Trading Bregman before his deal expires would at least provide the team some value for one of their best players.
On the flip side, moving Bregman would absolutely weaken the team, and decrease their odds at winning a championship in 2024.
Let's face it, all good things come to an end. And the Astros have been serious World Series contenders for the last seven years. At some point, they'll have to replenish their weak farm system, and trading Breggy could help with that.
When should they trade him?
If they trade him before the season, they'll get a bigger haul than at the trade deadline. Either way, we shouldn't expect a massive return for Alex. Teams don't like trading top prospects AND having to hand out mega contracts.
Astros GM Dana Brown spoke this offseason about being creative. And doing something like this would certainly qualify.
Who would replace him?
We know the farm system is thin, so it could be as simple as playing Mauricio Dubon at third. Grae Kessinger could fill the utility infield role, and the team has plenty of options in the outfield with Jake Meyers, Chas McCormick, Yordan Alvarez, and Kyle Tucker. Corey Julks could also add some depth.
Is there a chance the Astros would consider moving their Gold Glove shortstop to third base?
Be sure to watch the video above as we cover all the angles on a potential Bregman trade!
If you enjoy the videos, subscribe to SportsMapHouston on YouTube!
Presented by Coors Light.