Alex Bregman is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2024 season. The Houston Astros already secured the services of Jose Altuve for the next five years after this season, giving him a five-year, $125 million contract extension. The circumstances are slightly different with Bregman, something that was alluded to by Astros Owner Jim Crane in an interview with Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle.
Crane did say that the Astros do plan on offering Bregman a long-term contract extension before he hits the free agent market. But unlike Altuve, Bregman's age complicates matters, as he is set to hit the market before his age-31 season.
Astros face crossroads with Bregman's free agency
“He’s another good one,” Crane told Solomon. “A little younger, a little different circumstance. It depends on whether he wants to test the market or he’ll sign a deal with us, but we’ll definitely make him an offer.
“The guys that have gotten away, the big names — (Carlos) Correa, (George) Springer and (Gerrit) Cole — there were various reasons why we didn’t sign those guys. Some of it was money. Some of it was age. Some of it was career path and that sort of thing and what they wanted to do to test the market.
“Look, you’re not going to be able to sign ’em all, but we’ve made some big signings. And we’ll continue to balance that with the guys coming up. The objective there is to put a winning product out there every single year and be in contention. And we’ve been pretty consistent with that.”
Both Altuve and Bregman are represented by the Boras Corporation. But it was easier for the Astros to secure an extension with Altuve because the veteran second baseman and former MVP will be turning 34 this year in May.
But because Bregman will be hitting the market at a younger age, he may ultimately cost more than Altuve. As was explained by Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors, it's very possible that Bregman may command a deal ranging from seven to nine years. That obviously wasn't the case for Altuve, with the slugger set to turn 34 in May.
If Bregman ultimately walks after the 2024 season, then the Astros will certainly look a lot different.
Bregman has been a fan-favorite since his MLB debut back in 2016 and he played a key role in the Astros World Series title runs in 2017 and 2022. He has helped them reach the Fall Classic four times in the last seven years, and they have been to the ALCS in each of the last seven years.
The signing of Josh Hader also complicates matters, as Houston may not have quite as much money available to spend on Bregman, whether they try to give him a contract extension or re-sign him when he hits free agency.