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Both Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman are only under contract with the Houston Astros though the 2024 season, though the agent for both, Scott Boras, told reporters on Wednesday that neither player has held extension talks with the club to this point.
Boras noted that there’s “been an expression of desire” on Houston’s side to reach extension deals with both players, “but obviously, that’s not something we’ve approached yet.”
General manager Dana Brown told reporters in spring training this past year that he hopes the pair are “Astros for life,” though he noted on Tuesday that extension talks would likely expire once the 2024 season begins.
“I think we’re going to look into talking to both of them, particularly this offseason, maybe all the way up to spring training,” he told reporters. “Once the season starts, we really don’t want to get too much into it. Unless there’s some initiative from them during the season. But I think it’s something that we are going to look at very closely this offseason.”
Bregman, 29, is an obvious choice for a lucrative, long-term extension, given that he’s four years younger than Altuve and fresh off a season that saw him appear in 161 games, hitting .262 with 25 homers, 98 RBI, 103 runs and a .804 OPS. He’s also a plus defender at third base, finishing as a Gold Glove finalist.
He’ll command a significant deal in free agency, no doubt.
Altuve may be a trickier negotiation. He’s a club legend and one of the truly great October players in baseball history (.273 batting average, 27 homers, 55 RBI, 89 runs and a .851 OPS in 103 career postseason games), but he’s also 33 and coming off a season that saw him miss 72 games with a variety of injuries.
Granted, he was still superb when healthy, hitting .311 with 17 homers, 51 RBI, 76 runs and a .915 OPS in the 90 regular season games he did play. And that carried over into the postseason, when he helped lead the Astros to the ALCS, hitting four homers and posting a .906 OPS.
But the Astros would be risking more signing him to a long-term extension given his age and the durability questions that suddenly surfaced in 2023. A healthy Altuve remains one of the game’s most dangerous stars, but it’s a moot point if he struggles to stay on the field.
Still, both players have become staples for a franchise that has consistently been a contender dating back to 2017, winning two titles in that time. And the happy ending here—at least in Houston—is both finishing their careers in an Astros uniform.
“I think that we understand they have one more year left. And we want to sign them. I think they’re interested in being here,” Brown told reporters. “I think it’s just going to take time to figure out is there going to be somewhere that we can make it work? And that just takes time sometimes. I wish it was easy. But it just takes time. But we do have an interest in both guys, for sure.”