5 blockbuster trades that could happen at the MLB Winter Meetings

The MLB Winter Meetings begin Monday, Dec. 6 in Nashville. Several stars are on the trade radar.

Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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Astros could be proactive and trade Alex Bregman before 2024 free agency

The Houston Astros' repeat bid in the American League fell inches short, with a seven-game loss to the Texas Rangers in a hotly contested ALCS. Now, the roster figures to look much different next season. Dusty Baker is out, while longstanding clubhouse leader Martin Maldonado has one foot out the door in free agency.

That said, a more pivotal offseason for the Astros could arrive in 2024 when Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman are both slated to hit free agency. The overwhelming consensus appears to be that Houston will only pay one superstar infielder — Altuve. That opens the door for Bregman to be whisked away to a new franchise before the season starts.

One has to imagine the Astros can field a massive return for the 29-year-old Bregman, who has two All-Star appearances on his résumé. He finished second in MVP voting back in 2019, and fifth the year before. Last season, he still finished 22nd despite the wealth of talent on Houston's roster and the relative disappointment of their 90-win regular season.

Bregman slashed .262/.363/.441 with 25 home runs and 98 RBIs in 2023, making 724 plate appearances across 161 games. He managed more walks (92) than strikeouts (87) while anchoring the early portion of Houston's lineup, often as the No. 2 hitter.

"I think [the Astros] are listening," said MLB insider Jim Duquette. "Keep on eye on Alex Bregman."

If Houston decides to sell high on Bregman, rather than extending him to a lucrative contract, several teams should make their pitch. One recent proposal from MLB.com sent Bregman to the New York Yankees as part of a massive four-team construct. He would help a number of contenders with his potent bat and sturdy glove at the hot corner.