Alex Bregman is one of the greatest players in Houston Astros history. He's been instrumental in every playoff run over the last near decade. Since Alex Bregman debuted, he has not played in a full season that has not ended with the Astros at least playing for an ALCS. He has one of the biggest hits in franchise history.
Bregman is a leader that brings both elite offense and defense to the table. He was one of two players to stand up in Spring Training in 2020 and publicly address the media from the podium after the sign-stealing scandal broke. Simply put, his value can't be quantified.
Unless you're Jim Crane.
Alex Bregman is probably going to walk. Blame Jim Crane.
According to Bob Nightengale, the Astros are "privately resigned" to losing Alex Bregman in free agency next season. Why are they resigned to losing Bregman? Not because he wants out. Not because they can't afford him. Not because they have a prospect beating down the door that makes him expendable. But because their owner won't open his wallet.
Jim Crane bought the Astros for $680 million in 2011, and they're no worth an estimated $2.25 billion. His investment has more than tripled. But Crane, after tripling his investment and making money hand over fist after all of these playoff runs won't pay Bregman his market value.
It was one thing to let George Springer walk when Kyle Tucker was waiting in the wings. Not paying Gerrit Cole and Dallas Keuchel when the rest of their rotation was still loaded with multiple arms still waiting could be excused as well.
There isn't another Alex Bregman waiting to come up. As a byproduct of forfeited draft picks from the scandal and trades of prospects at the trade deadline, the cupboard is pretty bare. If you let Alex Bregman walk, you are conceding that your days of competing for titles are over.
Nightengale went on to say the money will be used to keep Altuve an Astro for life. Here's a thought...pay both.
It's hard to complain after the seven year run the Astros have had. Jeff Luhnow, possibly the greatest executive in baseball history, built a power. His efforts are still paying off years down the road.
But most of the core he assembled is now either playing elsewhere or about to, for no reason other than Houston won't pay their homegrown talent. They'll dole out $60 million to Jose Abreu through his age 38 season, but they won't pay a homegrown superstar that outside of Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander, has been quite possibly the most important player in this era.
Seeing Alex Bregman play elsewhere in 2025 will be gut-wrenching. It will be an insult to Bregman and it will be an insult to the fans. And it is entirely avoidable.
Pay Bregman. Pay Altuve. Pay Tucker. Sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto and the money he would bring in from the Japanese market alone would pay for all of the moves. Win another ring or two and your franchise is worth $3 billion.
It's the old spend money to make money adage. It's now time for Houston to spend, and they simply won't.
We all owe Jeff Luhnow our gratitude for assembling one of the greatest baseball teams of all-time. It's a shame that team's era of dominance will come to an end sooner than it has too.