Wow! The Astros extend Bregman and Pressly


The Astros’ front office — due to the team’s great success — has gone through a bunch of turnover in the last few years. This has included David Stearns becoming GM of the Brewers, and Mike Elias becoming GM of the Orioles and bringing along Sig Mejdal to be his top assistant.

But one thing that has not changed has been the ability of Jeff Luhnow to surprise the fans. Michael Brantley? Never a rumor they were interested in him before he was signed? Wade Miley? Aledmys Diaz? Out of the blue signings.

And Tuesday night brought two more surprises out of the blue.

Ryan Pressly, who was tremendous after his trade from the Twins in 2018, will be an Astro for two more seasons (2020 and 2021) at $17.5 million, which might be three seasons at $27.5 million. There was no peep about this before it happened.

But the cherry on the sundae was the extension of Alex Bregman – 6 years / $100 million through 2024. This came just eight days after Bregman showed disdain for the Astros renewing his contract at a bit over minimum MLB wage. This is big and could be a great deal for both parties.

So, how do you feel about these moves? Are you surprised? Happy? Worried?

46 comments on “Wow! The Astros extend Bregman and Pressly

    • Had obvious trouble typing on my tablet – so came over to the computer.
      The Astros were clever by giving Bregman the money starting next season – if they included this season it would have put them up near the luxury tax. Same for Pressly – they did not buy out the present year – so maybe they gave them a little more when others may come off the payroll.

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  1. Great moves and telling in Bregman’s case in that they seem to value him over Correa although they may be looking to try to work out an extension with Carlos as well. However, if they had to choose between Bregman and Correa I think they made the right choice. Here’s hoping this spurs Correa to a monster season. Thumbs up to Uncle Jeff.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Doc, I don’t think it shows that they favor Bregman over Correa. It shows that Bregman was open to it and Correa already told the world that he was not interested in talking about an extension after coming off a down year.
    It takes two to tango and Bregman said last week he wanted to dance.
    I have been waiting for a chance to talk about next year’s bullpen, but it did not seem appropriate up until now. I was going to nominate Pressley as the one 2020 free agent from this year’s bullpen to offer an extension to.

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    • I hope Bregman plays his entire career as an Astro. Ever since his college days when I became aware of him, he has seemed to live and breathe baseball. He reminds me of the past great energetic and team leaders Biggio and Doran.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bregman is a ball player……watch him throw it in high gear when the season opens! I love his passion, I love his grit, I love how he makes things happen (((*game 5*)))of the World Series!! I want to keep them ALL but I know that’s not possible. We won’t be able to out bid the Yankees for Correa, but I sure would love to keep George along with Altuve and Bregman. My heart is full tonight!
    This bit of glorious news should put a big smile on their faces starting tomorrow!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bregman is like a mutant hybrid of Biggio and Bagwell. I think he’s going to be a Mike Trout type guy as soon as this year..and the funny part is he always starts slow. Can you imagine if he didn’t?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Two thoughts. 1. Any other day, we would be talking about Pressley. 2. And it makes me sick to read the comments on MLB Trade Rumors. Instead of being a normal baseball fan, some Yankee lover can only talk about how much better Aaron Judge is and how much more Judge should get.

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  6. 45, I keep telling you to get your sleep. Don’t be looking at those comments.

    I just noticed the Gio Gonzalez signing for 3 million and 300K a start. He can opt out by April 20 if he does not think the situation will be good for him. Wonder how Keuchel feels about this deal.

    If Carlos Correa has a pretty good year, it’s a bargain at 5 million. If he has a great year, then he probably prices himself out of an Astro future. So I could see him traded for multiple parts. We’ve already got an option at short.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My guilty conscience is what causes the insomnia. Can’t erase all those years of bad memories. Don’t forget, I had season tickets to see the Rangers in the 70’s and 80’s. Just thinking about that will cause you to take Melatonin.

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  7. This is just downright super. Kudos to our management team. Wish they’d been around when Nolan asked for a million. I tend to agree with the prevailing winds that I’d rather have Bregman than Correa but both would be nice.

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  8. I’m going straight to the media and tell them my boss should give me a raise because I’m worth it, and it better be a big one.

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  9. Some Dan P thoughts…..
    – The Astros’ front office has done a great job in identifying:
    a) Guys who could benefit from an extension – trading uncertainty for certainty
    b) Guys who apparently were interested in staying here
    c) Guys who were outstanding in 2018 and who they no doubt believe can repeat that performance
    – While the Bregman move is the headliner here – the Pressly move shows a lot of finesse. There is risk there, Pressly has never been as good as he was last year in his career. But if like Charlie Morton they believe they have unlocked his potential with pitch selection and placement, then they have a top notch late inning reliever at what is not an outrageous amount of money these days
    – On the radio they were speculating that the Astros only did this with Bregman after he expressed disappointment at his contract renewal – that they had not pursued extension until then. I think the opposite – I think they had pursued an extension with him – and then renewed him when they could not get it done. Maybe that renewal changed the leverage a bit.
    – It is a good deal one would think. Mike Trout after his 2nd full season signed a 6 yr / $144 million extension, so this is short of that, but Trout was unique – one of the best ever (power and speed) at such a young age with a Rookie of the year trophy and two runner-up MVP runs in him.
    – If the Astros had played this out with Bregman – going through arb the next 3 times – they would probably be putting out $45-50 million and then he would be headed to free agency which could have been $30 million or more, but more importantly there would have been a good chance they would not have had him for those two extra seasons at $20 million each. So he gets security and they get him in his prime

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  10. In an under the radar happening – the Mariners beat the A’s in Japan in the MLB opener a week + ahead of everyone else. Mike Fiers gave up 5 runs in 3 innings for the A’s.
    They play one more tomorrow before returning for some more exhibition games.
    Truly odd…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly the idea of playing a regular season game and then going out and playing more spring training games is ghastly and stupid.

      Have I mentioned I hate the commissioner?

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Seems like a good time to talk about Correa.
    #1. If it is the club’s intention to compete for a championship every season, then their pattern for doing that has not been to trade vital players before they walk to free agency. If that were their plan, they would have traded Marwin, or Morton or Keuchel or a combination of them last year. You cannot win a championship trading away good players.
    #2. Instead their plan is to find a way to keep vital players for as long as possible, while trying to find common ground for a reasonable extension. If they cannot do that, then they will take advantage of that player’s value right up to the very last minute and then get the draft pick they have coming if he leaves. Very important note: The players union does not object to the team losing a free agent getting a compensatory draft pick. They object to the signing team having to give up a draft pick to sign a free agent.
    #3. Alex Bregman does not do the club any good as a shortstop, if they do not have a great replacement for him at third base. I find it premature to talk about this three years in advance, after having waited 20 years for this team to have a good third baseman. With the infield shifts the Astros deploy Bregman ends up on an island at the normal shortstop position 30% of the time anyway. If the Astros do end up not being able to extend Correa, they should milk every game they can from him and have a good plan to replace him when he leaves. The best plan for that is to have a minor league star ready to make the jump who provides the club an inexpensive long term replacement for Correa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only exception to that op, that I would suggest is – let’s say in Correa’s last season, the team is out of the pennant race as the trade deadline approaches (hey – injuries and performance failures do happen even in the best of organizations). Then they would need to trade him as a rental for as much as they could get (especially if they see no reasonable way to re-sign him). Otherwise, I agree with you. Get as much value for as long as you can and then move on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe it’s premature to talk about Carlos leaving OP, but it’s really not premature to talk about anything in particular. We’re getting old. No doubt, we want to keep all of our great talent. But at some point soon, tough choices will have to be made. I agree completely that Bregman does things at third that the analytics experts can’t keep up with, because he’s all over the place, probably the most mobile 3B in mlb. But if Carlos has a 150 game season and provides the OPS he did in 2017, then yes, we might lose him sooner than later. Holding on to him as long as possible is certainly realistic, maybe the wise move. But if Luhnow has proven one thing, he’s not afraid to think outside the box. It will be interesting to hear any feedback we might get from Correa, other than the obligatory, “I’m very happy for Alex”.

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    • Just to add to #1 above, last year at this time, I saw comments of “We can flip DK in July…….” No GM in his right mind dumps a needed starter going into the playoffs. Now when you are 20 games out in July, it is a different story.

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  12. Latest little nugget released is that even though Bregman still has his approx. $600,000 salary for this year – he did receive a $10 MM signing bonus which they thought might be unprecedented for a pre-arb extension.
    Good for Alex. Nobody has played harder than him. If we can just get him to not poke the bear (pick on the opposing pitcher during the playoffs) I will be completely happy.

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    • Dan, that’s how I feel. Alex is clearly a generational specimen, but he has that poker instinct, which I worried last year might be an Achilles, and on one occasion that seemed to be the case. Do they have sports psychologists who specialize in overconfidence?

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  13. It’s getting interesting as to what the team might look like in the coming years. 2020 is last year for Reddick and Gurriel. Going into 2021 there’s only Altuve, Bregman signed. I’m sure we’ll have some up and coming players as well as some playing today. That might be a good topic Dan. I know you did this last year but the landscape is always changing.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Angel Hernandez is umpiring third base today – I guess if any of our left handed hitters check swing on a two strike pitch – they will be called out, close calls at third will certainly go the other way and maybe he can throw a balk or two call out there at us.

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  15. -I think the extension we have heard about for Bregman is full of value for the Astros. It’s a real win for the player and the team.
    -Mike Trout’s contract extension is a done deal.
    -The publicity surrounding Pressly’s contract extension is how we found out how happy he is to be with the Astros.
    -Pressly’s contract extension also gives the Astros a real chance for his trade to prove to be an exceptional one.
    -I’d feel a lot better about a possible contract extension for Cole, were he not represented by Boras.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A couple more thoughts
    – Verlander unlike Cole – is not represented by Boras and might – might – be easier to extend
    – Heard some guys on the radio arguing that signing Bregman will suck up more money during his 3 arb years (while probably saving money in his 2 FA years bought up by this contract) and make it harder to extend Cole or Verlander or Springer. Yes, true in pure fact, but…..it sure sends a signal that the team is interested in extending folks and it also tells them that they know that they will have Altuve and Bregman for an extended period if you want this team to look more attractive for the extension.

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  17. With Bregman’s extension, his six years guaranteed pays him $100,640,000.
    If the value of 1.0 WAR is dropped to a low of $6 million and Bregman were to average even a measly 3.0 WAR for those six years Then his value exceeds his deal by $8 million.
    Last season, his WAR was 7.6 according to Fangraphs. There’s a good chance Bregman could average 4.5 WAR for these next six prime age years, putting his value at $162,000,000. Would that be a win?

    Liked by 1 person

    • So basically if he puts up 17 WAR he would be on the plus side of this deal. For reference he has put up 12.5 WAR in 2-1/2 seasons with the Astros and Correa, even with his crappy 2018 has put up 18 WAR in about 3 seasons (470) worth of games. It would seem to be a great investment.

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  18. Yes, I know it’s only ST but the race to the Mendoza award (for guys on the 40 man roster) looks like this:
    Tyler White 7 for 37 – .189
    Aledmys Diaz 6 for 35 – .171
    AJ Reed 4 for 29 – .138

    On the other side of the equation;
    D Fisher 12 for 40 – .300
    N Tanielu 13 for 39 – .333
    M Straw 13 for 38 – .342
    A Toro 12 for 37 – .324
    R Dawson 7 for 23 – .304

    I looked at those not on the 25 man roster that had at least 20 AB’s. Sure looks promising for some of our up and coming guys. Of course not sure if Fisher is a fluke or he’s finally hitting to his potential.

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  19. When Nick Tanielu tore his ACL after the end of the 2016 season, he was out for all of 2017 and we just found out how hard it was to recover from that major surgery. Tanielu said that in 2018 he took another three months to round his body into playing condition.
    I took a look at his stats month by month in 2018 and by August there was hardly a pitcher in the PCL who could get him out.
    I think Tanielu could rattle some cages in the Astros prospect zoo this season.

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