Astros Predicted to Trade $100 Million 2-Time All-Star in Early ‘Overreaction’

Dana Brown

Getty Houston Astros GM Dana Brown might opt to trade Alex Bregman at midseason if the team doesn't improve on a slow start

The Houston Astros have been one of MLB’s most consistent playoff contenders, reaching the postseason in each of the last seven seasons and taking home the World Series championship twice in that span.

But after the team’s 4-7 start to the 2024 season, Chad Jennings, Andy McCullough and Stephen J. Nesbitt of The Athletic offered an “early-season overreaction” for the Astros by predicting that the team will trade star third-baseman Alex Bregman by the All-Star break.

“The Astros certainly expected to win more than four of their first 11 games, and they surely thought they’d get some of those wins on the strength of their offense,” they wrote in their April 9 MLB power rankings. “They were swept by the [New York] Yankees on Opening Weekend, then lost two of three to the [Texas] Rangers last weekend, renewing questions about their pitching depth and making Jose Abreu’s struggles even harder to ignore.”

If the Houston Astros Become Sellers, Alex Bregman Is a Compelling Trade Chip

Bregman’s value makes him a likely trade chip if the Astros become sellers by midseason. He is also in the final season of a five-year, $100 million deal with the team and is likely to warrant another massive contract. That might ultimately be too much for the Astros to stomach, particularly as other members of their core will be due for paydays as well.

“Eight years at $30 million a pop could be what it takes to get (agent Scott) Boras and Bregman to pass up free agency after the season,” Mike Axisa projected for CBS Sports. “Should the Astros do it? Kyle Tucker and Framber Valdez are both two years away from free agency, so the Astros have to start thinking about extensions for them too.”

Rather than see Bregman sign with another team in free agency, the Astros may decide they would get their best return by dealing him to a contender. There are certain to be offers, as Bregman is two-time All-Star at a premium defensive position, with a career slash line of .274/.372/.485 and 165 homers in nine seasons.

He’s earned MVP votes in four different seasons, including 2022 and 2023, and was a Silver Slugger in 2019. Ultimately, he would be one of the most compelling third basemen on the market if he’s put on the trading block.

“With such a thin free agent market for third base, Bregman could fetch an incredible return, even with just one year left of team control,” Kade Kistner wrote for Inside the Astros. “Houston could receive some promising prospects in a return haul and help replenish their depleted farm system that sits dead last in baseball.”

The Houston Astros Have Vowed to Offer Alex Bregman an Extension

Publicly, Astros general manager Dana Brown has downplayed the possibility of dealing Bregman.

“Dana Brown said his conversation with Scott Boras … reiterated that there’s no timeline for Alex Bregman, but ‘at some point, we will make an offer,’ Brown said,” according to The Athletic’s Chandler Rome.

But even the best laid plans often go awry and if the Astros find themselves on the outside of the playoff hunt for the first time in the better part of a decade, they may decide it’s time to leverage some of their World Series core with an eye toward the future.

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