Houston, we have a headline!
Less than 24 hours after the division rival Los Angeles Angels finalized a 12 year, $426.5 million contract with all-world talent Mike Trout, the Houston Astros franchise has also made some news.
Alex Bregman is now an Astro through at least 2024 after signing a 6-year, $100 million contract extension with the team. With Bregman previously eligible for free agency after the 2022 season, the deal buys out his first two years of free agency as well as his arbitration years (which were set to begin in 2020). The extension includes a $10 million signing bonus, and Bregman will earn $11 million/yr in 2020-22, followed by $28.5 million/yr in 2023-24. The extension also includes escalators depending on Bregman’s placement in the AL MVP Award voting, and a limited no-trade clause, which gives Bregman the ability to name 10 teams prior to the last two years of the deal that he cannot be traded to.
Bregman (25 years on March 30th) carried the Astros in 2018, with a .926 OPS, 31 home runs, 103 RBI, 10 stolen bases, and 105 runs scored over 157 regular-season games. Among Astros position players, only Carlos Correa and Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell have produced more WAR in their first three seasons than Bregman. Bregman’s new contract is the second-largest in team history, behind Jose Altuve’s 7-year, $163.5 million contract signed in 2018.
The Astros have also reached agreement with Ryan Pressly on a 2-year, $17.5 million extension. Pressly will make $8.75 million in both 2020 and 2021. He had previously been under contract for $2.9 million in 2019. The deal is also reported to carry a vesting club option for a third season (in 2022), which could carry a value of $10 million. Pressly was acquired from the Twins last July and finished the regular season in the Astros’ bullpen, pitching to a 0.77 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, and 32/3 K/BB ratio over 23 1/3 innings. Pressly will continue working as the Astros’ primary set-up man behind closer Roberto Osuna, who is also under club control through at least 2021.
Before the Pressly and Bregman deals, the Astros had given out only three contract extensions during the tenure of current general manager, Jeff Luhnow. The team signed Jon Singleton to a 5-year, $10 million deal in 2014 and signed Jose Altuve to a 7-year, $163.5 million deal in 2018. Altuve also signed a 4-year extension in 2013 with club options that bought out his first two years of free agency.
Featured Photo: Sean Pokorny, USA TODAY Sports.