New Astros general manager Dana Brown has already expressed his desire to keep second baseman Jose Altuve and third baseman Alex Bregman in Houston for the duration of their careers. While both are scheduled to hit free agency after the 2024 season, it doesn't appear that new contracts are coming soon. Rather, it seems the Astros might wait until the offseason to strike a deal.
"It's probably going to be more like next year," Brown told Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. "We made it clear that we want to keep them both around. This is part of getting through (2025), getting to (2026), some more time to replenish the system without overhauling the roster."
Brown, named Houston's general manager in January, was hired away from the Atlanta Braves. The Braves, of course, have earned a reputation for signing their best players to long-term extensions, oftentimes early in their career. Brown pulled off a Braves-like deal early in his tenure, locking up right-hander Cristian Javier on a five-year pact worth $64 million.
Brown has since also attempted to extend the contracts of outfielder Kyle Tucker and lefty Framber Valdez, albeit without success yet.
Whereas those extension pursuits are aimed at gaining cost certainty through those players' expected statistical primes, locking in Altuve or Bregman would be about securing the rest of their post-prime runs. To wit, Altuve will celebrate his 33rd birthday come May, while Bregman will turn 29 later this month. For Altuve, at least, this could represent his final contract.
"These guys should retire here," Brown claimed to the Associated Press that he had told agent Scott Boras, the representative for both Altuve and Bregman. "They should be in Houston for life, man."
Brown still has plenty of time to stand by his words. Just don't expect him to make good on them anytime soon.