MLB Rumors: Cardinals rotation solution, Blake Snell didn't want to be a Giant, Bregman extension

  • Possible Cardinals rotation solution emerges
  • Giants weren't Blake Snell's first choice
  • Alex Bregman extension update

Aug 1, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John
Aug 1, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Alex Bregman extension update

The Houston Astros entered this past offseason with two key players, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, nearing free agency. 2024 was the final season of extensions both players had signed with the team previously, meaning both were going to be free agents at the conclusion of the 2024 campaign.

Altuve signed another extension which will take him through his age-38 season, but Bregman has begun the season without an extension agreed to or even offered. That doesn't come as a huge surprise considering Bregman has Scott Boras, an agent known to get his players to free agency, representing him.

Still, while an extension appears unlikely on the surface, Houston plans to at the very least talk to Bregman according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

"The Houston Astros plan to talk to third baseman Alex Bregman about a contract extension before he hits free agency, but aren’t expected to come close to the $300 million over 10 years it likely will take to keep him from testing the market."

Nightengale is reporting that it'd take roughly 10 years for $300 million to get Bregman to agree to not test free agency and stay long-term in Houston. Since there is little chance Houston comes near that kind of offer, it seems almost certain that Bregman will be testing the free agency market.

Perhaps when Houston does come to the negotiating table Bregman's ask will be lower, but again, with Boras in the picture, free agency is the likely outcome. It's good Houston wants to at least discuss an extension, but it'd take a Godfather offer for Bregman to even consider passing on the open market.

MLB Rumors: Giants weren't Blake Snell's first choice

After months of waiting, the San Francisco Giants were the ultimate victors in the Blake Snell sweepstakes. Snell remaining available for as long as he did makes no sense when taking into account the fact that he's the reigning NL Cy Young winner, but it was good to see him come off the board finally.

Just because the Giants got Snell does not mean that they were his first choice. Nightengale reported that Snell's first choice was actually the Los Angeles Angels.

"Snell, who signed a two-year, $62 million contract with the Giants just before the end of camp, was actually hoping to sign with the Angels, but an offer never came through."

The Angels are an interesting choice since they're a team that is nowhere near contention. Adding a pitcher of Snell's caliber would help them immensely, just like it'd help any other team fortunate enough to add a star, but the Angels would still be the fourth-best team in the AL West by a sizeable margin.

Snell might've also hoped that the Angels, a team desperate for pitching, would come through with the long-term offer he had been hoping for and never got elsewhere. Not only did the Angels refuse to offer him a long-term deal, they refused to offer him any deal whatsoever. Head-scratching for a team that refuses to rebuild, but that's par for the course for Arte Moreno. Nothing that the Angels do makes any sense.

MLB Rumors: Possible Cardinals rotation solution emerges

The St. Louis Cardinals are a team that entered this past offseason in dire need of starting pitching help. John Mozeliak addressed that by signing three pitchers, but it's fair to question whether he added the right pitchers.

Sonny Gray was the most expensive arm they signed, and there's nothing wrong with that deal. He's a star, and more than worthy of leading a rotation. It's the Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn deals on top of having Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz that made St. Louis' offseason questionable at best.

The Cardinals can still compete for a playoff spot if their offense is elite and the bullpen takes shape, but that rotation is an issue. It's especially an issue for the future, as all five of their starting pitchers are 32 years old or older, with four of the five being 35 or older.

The Cardinals can address their rotation for the present and future this upcoming offseason by signing Japanese phenom Roki Sasaki. Whether Sasaki will indeed be available remains to be seen, and Nightengale seems to believe that the Dodgers are a near lock to land him, but the Cardinals were reportedly one of eight teams to scout the right-hander according to Andy Martino, leaving the possibility open at the very least for the Cardinals to land him.

Landing Sasaki would give them the ace and youth that they desperately need. Will they be able to outlast the big market giants, though? That remains to be seen. Still encouraging to see the Cardinals scouting him, at least.