Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve have the chance to be the Bagwell and Biggio of this era of Astros baseball. But like everything else in life, it takes two to tango and doing the tango twice with Scott Boras will not prove to be easy. There is a misconception among fans that the Astros cannot and will not do deals with Boras, which is simply untrue. The club has multiple clients of the biggest shark in baseball and they have done deals with him in the past. Scott Boras literally did Jose Altuve's last deal with the Astros, so there is no reason for the widespread panic that some might have.
While these two players can find themselves tied at the hip for years to come, with the chance to be remembered as this incredible duo, the differences between both situations could not be more different. Both players are still two years away from hitting the market, but both will be doing it as such different stages of their careers.
For Bregman, he will be in the sweet spot of being thirty years old, which is a scary age for some baseball players hitting the open market, but given the way other players have been paid recently that have similar track records as he does, this will be of little concern. Believe it or not, Bregman should want to get to free agency, unless the Astros blow him away with a deal they have never done before. His market will be rich and he will cash in big time on what might be the last contract of his baseball career. When you look for comps, you have to start with the base being the Anthony Rendon deal that Scott Boras negotiated with the Angels a few years ago. On the high end, he is pushing three hundred million and maybe more if he really plays well the next two seasons. For a man that is already very wealthy, this contract will create the sort of generational wealth for his family for years to come.
When it comes to Jose Altuve, he is set to reach the market ahead of his age thirty five season, giving him much less negotiating power when it comes to the length of the deal. Altuve sits in the sweet spot of where the Astros have always liked being and looking at it from the outside, it is hard to think they have a tough time getting his deal done. Something between two-four years should get it done, with a salary starting at a minimum of thirty five million per year. There are plenty of faces to this franchise, but when all is said and done, there is likely no bigger face to this team than this man has been.
The backdrop to all of this is the history of how Jim Crane has operated when it comes to contracts. If we go off that history, it is hard to envision a scenario where Alex Bregman is getting a deal done with the club, while it feels safe to assume that the Altuve deal is a lock to push through.
Jim Crane hired Dana Brown and the emphasis on everything they have said publicly has been on player retention. The Astros are in a spot with their farm system that this has to be a key. Long gone are the days of letting your star players walk, knowing there is someone waiting in the wings to take their place. The Astros just are not loaded like that anymore. Whether it is Kyle Tucker or Alex Bregman or Jose Altuve or one of the many young arms the Astros should want to lock up, one thing is certain through all of this. Jim Crane will have to buck his trend of how he handles contracts and get comfortable being uncomfortable.