When thinking about the Astros and their run of dominance over the last seven years, there are really only two players who come to mind. Jose Altuve is one, and Alex Bregman is the other. Yes, guys like Justin Verlander, Yordan Alvarez, Carlos Correa, and Kyle Tucker (I can go on but won't) have played monster roles, but Altuve and Bregman have been the two constants in the Astros run to seven consecutive ALCS appearances.
While their postseason dominance is what the Astros are known for, their dominance in the regular season, especially against the Los Angeles Angels, is pretty well-documented as well. Bregman in particular has played a huge role in that.
After watching Bregman dominate for so many years, seeing his name in trade rumors in recent days has been a pleasant surprise. Jim Duquette of MLB Network seems to think there's a chance that the superstar will be traded before Opening Day. Wouldn't that be something?
The Astros might be willing to trade Alex Bregman away in the latest offseason surprise
Hearing Alex Bregman, an Angels killer, named in trade rumors is an awesome development. This is a guy who has slashed .291/.395/.507 with 19 home runs and 80 RBI in his career. The damage he's done against the Angels can only be topped by what he's done against the Athletics. It feels like Bregman has a history of back-breaking hits against the Halos, including his two-run homer in the top of the ninth in the first series after the all-star break. That home run turned what was a one-run Angels lead into a one-run deficit.
The Astros have let several of their key players walk in free agency in recent years including George Springer, Correa, and Verlander. Despite that, they continue to win. They'll extend players on contracts they deem to be worthwhile, like they did with Bregman on his five-year extension, but once players get out of their price range they're willing to let them walk.
Bregman is in the final year of his deal, and will be a free agent following the 2024 season. He's going to get a massive contract, one that Houston is unlikely to pay. Trading him this offseason ensures they get a monster return for him, as he's one of the best third basemen in baseball. Failing to do so means they'd only get a draft pick. Houston is probably fine either way, but with such a weak farm system the Astros trading Bregman shouldn't be out of the question.
No, I don't expect it to happen, as Houston intends to make another run to the World Series. It'd be a lot harder for them to get there without Bregman. However, if they do consider it, that'd be a win for the Angels. Sure, they'd get stuff in return, but the chances of whatever they get being close to as good as Bregman are pretty slim. The Astros choosing to be cheap only helps the Angels as they try and win sometime in the not-too-distant future.