While the Houston Astros have some work to do this offseason in terms of bringing in new players for 2024, one of the bigger items on the agenda is trying to extend the players that they already have on their roster. Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve are entering the final years of their contracts and the team had already expressed a strongly desire to keep Kyle Tucker and Framber Valdez in the fold for the long haul as well.
One would hope that Altuve and Bregman are the higher priority given that they are about to enter their walk years. If nothing else, getting clarity on the likelihood that they will be back with the Astros after 2024 could give the team and fans a better sense of what moves the team could make going forward.
Unfortunately, that is not exactly what Houston fans got when agent Scott Boras talked to the media at the GM meetings this week. When asked about Altuve and Bregman and the potential for extensions, he indicated that while the Astros had expressed a willingness to keep both of them, actual extension talks have yet to begin.
The Astros have not started contract extension talks with Altuve or Bregman
As with any Scott Boras clients or comments, everything that comes out of his mouth should be taken with a grain of salt. He is always looking for edges in negotiations and his comments at the GM meetings were very clearly trying to put public pressure on general manager Dana Brown to get the ball rolling and hammer out a deal.
However, it is a bit strange that the Astros haven't yet started extension talks with these two guys yet. It isn't like it is a surprise that they are entering the last season of their contracts. However, a look at the larger picture could help explain the situation a bit more.
Houston has been reluctant to discuss extensions in season in the past and, well, the 2023 season just ended. Combine that with the Astros having to try and lock in a new manager somewhat unexpectedly and the usual beginning of the offseason chaos and you have a perfectly reasonable explanation for the lack of progress thus far. Brown himself indicated that he expected extension talks to potentially go all the way up to spring training and that the team wasn't going to be in a rush to get something done quickly.
In Altuve's case, it is hard to see a situation where Houston lets him walk. Jose is getting older, is an Astros icon, and has already talked in the past about wanting to remain with Houston for the rest of his career. His next contract's length also shouldn't be too onerous for the Astros' front office or ownership. Bregman is a different animal altogether, though. He is going to be younger and there has been less optimism that he is willing to take less than market value for his services on top of the fact that his production has dipped in recent years.