Houston needs to push hard for Zack Wheeler instead of trying to keep Bregman
We turn again to the free agent market next offseason for our last option. Would Juan Soto be awesome in an Astros unform? Absolutely, but that guy is going to get Scrooge McDuck money and the Yankees (along with all the other big spenders) are going to push hard to bring him into the fold. That isn't a bidding war that the Astros need to be in.
One guy on the pitching side that does make a lot of sense and who absolutely would be a huge get would be Zack Wheeler. Wheeler showed a lot of promise during his time with the Mets, but it is his work with the Phillies since 2020 that has put him on the map as one of the best pitchers in MLB.
Over the last four seasons, Wheeler has averaged a 3.06 ERA with 675 strikeouts in 629.1 innings of work while walking just 1.9 batters per nine innings pitched. He has a pair of top 6 NL Cy Young finishes including finishing second to the aforementioned Burnes in 2021. Arguably more importantly, he has accomplished all of that with the mix of power pitches that analytics-forward teams like the Astros love and with good reason.
Assuming Wheeler doesn't re-up with the Phillies like his teammate Aaron Nola did, he is going to have no shortage of suitors next offseason. However, Houston still has the added benefit of playing home games in Texas which would put a little bit more money in his pocket and at 33 years old, he should still have plenty left in the tank to make Houston pursuing him worthwhile. If Bregman's days with the Astros are indeed numbered, the Astros could do a lot worse than using that money to add a bona fide ace like Wheeler.