The Houston Astros are going to have to navigate this offseason very carefully if they want to set themselves up well for the short-term as well as the long-term. The team is very obviously good going into 2024, but there is a real chance that some regression happens especially with some key departures out of the bullpen and unknowns in the lineup and rotation.
The problem, as it often is, is payroll and the Astros don't have a lot of it to go around at the moment with ownership having a firm grip on the purse strings. Sure, there are players available on both sides of the ball that could help Houston next season and beyond, but it is decidedly unclear as to how aggressive general manager Dana Brown can be especially with the farm system significantly thinner after trading for Justin Verlander.
The end result has been a relatively stale offseason, even in terms of rumors, for the Astros. However, all is not lost as there have been some developments that don't just sound like agents trying to invent "secret teams" to gain leverage this offseason. Here is a look at some of the Astros rumors circulating at the moment.
Astros Rumors: Alex Bregman on the trading block?
This is the big one and whether or not it happens could very easily dictate how Houston conducts themselves the rest of the offseason. Bregman famously is about to enter the last year of his deal with Houston and by all accounts, an extension is unlikely with guys like Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker taking precedence there. While there is a distinct possibility that moving Bregman this offseason could hurt the Astros' chances in 2024, the team does appear to at least be listening to trade offers on him.
On the one hand, trading Bregman would free up a bunch of cash as he is set to make $28.5 million next season. That money could go a long ways to helping beef up the rotation, bullpen, and outfield, but that would leave the Astros without a third baseman and creating another roster headache. Bregman would bring a healthy return even if he is a one year rental, though, and Houston may be looking for ways to bolster their depth and plan for the future a bit.
In the end, a healthy amount of skepticism is justified when it comes to these rumors. This is the same Astros organization that held on to Carlos Correa and George Springer until they left in free agency and they are firmly in their competitive window. Call any Bregman unlikely until they actually pull the trigger on a move like this.