Alex Bregman’s MLB Network ranking is further proof he doesn't warrant a megadeal

Alex Bregman is a fine player, but it is clear that his stock is slipping.
Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Five
Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Five / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Much of the Houston Astros' offseason has involved a lot of anxiety as to what the future holds for the core of the Astros' roster. There has been plenty of discussion about extensions for guys like Kyle Tucker, but the one thing that everyone seems to agree on at the moment is that Alex Bregman is more likely than not to hit free agency after the 2023 season.

On the surface, this sounds like a tough pill to swallow for Astros fans. Bregman has had MVP-caliber seasons with the Astros and has been an integral part of Houston's success over the last eight seasons. He is also still a very productive player, as he put up a 4.3 fWAR season in 2023.

When MLB Network released their top 3B in MLB ranking this week, Bregman placed fifth, giving more ammunition to the idea that Bregman is still a top player. However, looks are a bit deceiving with regards to these rankings and how they line up with how he is trending.

The Astros need to avoid giving Alex Bregman the huge contract he wants

It is extraordinarily likely that Bregman is going to have another good season in 2024. However, recent trends suggest that he could continue to trend downward. His wRC+, batting average, and home run production have all taken significant hits in recent years, and his defense has been more "good" than great since 2018. There is a real argument that MLB Network got these rankings wrong to begin with, as Nolan Arenado, Gunnar Henderson, and even Isaac Paredes all have arguments to be ranked higher.

The bigger issue here, though, isn't Bregman's actual value, but what he is going to command on the open market. With Scott Boras as his agent, he is going to be looking for top dollar, with some current predictions expecting him to get in the neighborhood of nine years and $270 million. As good as Bregman was, that is an insane ask for a guy that has declined to being a .260 average, 20ish homer guy the last four years and who is about to turn 30.

Will Bregman end up getting paid? Almost certainly. While Boras can be a blowhard at times, he is incredibly adept at getting his clients high dollar deals, even if it means holding out late into the offseason. He will almost certainly cite these very rankings in trying to get Bregman paid. However, the Astros have been very reluctant to give out those sorts of deals, and even if they became open to the idea of prying open their wallets, Bregman just isn't the guy to give that money to anymore.

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