This Yankees trade for Alex Bregman could blow up rivalry with Astros

If he's available...

Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven / Bob Levey/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

From the people who brought you, "Shouldn't the Yankees Just Sign Carlos Correa, Who Kills Them?" it's the sequel, "Shouldn't the Yankees Just Surrender Assets for Alex Bregman, Who Kills Them?"

The difference between these two players and, say, George Springer or Justin Verlander, is that both, deep down, have exploitable Yankees ties. Correa might've been motivated by money during his past two free agency cycles, but he grew up an Alex Rodriguez fan and reportedly reached out to the team repeatedly to give him a look, to no avail.

Bregman? While he can't control his destiny just yet, he's a No. 2-wearing quick-twitch infielder for a reason, even though he's moved off shortstop. He made his love for Derek Jeter abundantly clear when the Astros came to Yankee Stadium on Jeter's honorary day in 2017, trying to switch jersey numbers so as not to step on The Captain's toes before homering after the swap proved unsuccessful.

The 29-year-old Bregman will hit free agency after the 2024 campaign, during which he'll make $28.5 million. That's a hefty price to pay for a (right-handed) infielder whose OPS+ has declined from 152 (2018) and 162 (2019) to 122 last season. Still, Bregman has that proverbial dog in him, as well as plenty of experience succeeding under the bright lights. The Yankees will take an .800 OPS from a corner infield position if it's offered to them and ask questions later.

Both Andy Martino and Jim Duquette heard this week that Bregman could be floated on the trade market rather than extended. If the Yankees were inclined to add a throwback player who could help return them to their dynastic roots, what would it cost them?

Yankees Alex Bregman trade package with Astros

One expensive year of Bregman would have to come with the departure of Gleyber Torres; even after such a swap, the Yankees would still be taking on an additional ~$13 million. Finding Torres a new home would be step one of this process (Seattle? Miami?), but after that deed is done, the Yankees would need to (shudder) say seven Hail Marys and help Houston bolster their pitching staff.

Everson Pereira, a better fit in this deal than in a Juan Soto trade, would probably be the headliner, with Will Warren and Roderick Arias tacked onto the package. That gives Houston immediate offensive firepower, big-league ready pitching, and a lottery ticket on a totally different timeline. The Astros don't typically dip into this type of market, and Dana Brown hasn't done much selling during his year-long tenure in Houston.

If the Astros are, indeed, looking for a reset, that would hopefully indicate a slight step back in 2024. It would behoove the Yankees to take advantage of that in more ways than one, starting by checking in on saving Bregman and bringing him home.

manual