Yankees Rumors: Insider ponders Alex Bregman free agency battle after 2024

Oh yeah?
New York Mets v Houston Astros
New York Mets v Houston Astros / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

New York Yankees fans have no interest in talking about next offseason when the Year of Juan Soto has yet to even commence, but it'll at least be useful to log this one for later down the road when future free agency scenarios start getting serious attention.

One of those involves Alex Bregman, the star third baseman for the Houston Astros, who's believed to be spending his final year with the Yankees' bitter rival.

Come 2024, the Yankees will probably need a true third baseman, since it's hard to project how DJ LeMahieu will do in 2024 after three straight disappointing seasons. Then again, where's this money coming from?

Plenty will be coming off the books when the campaign ends, but the Yankees have to pay Soto (assuming they're serious about keeping him). Won't they need another starter, too? Corbin Burnes and Max Fried will headline the free agency class of pitchers.

But it seems like everything will be on the table. Joel Sherman of the New York Post could foresee a situation where the Yankees and Mets get into a bidding war over Bregman.

Yankees Rumors: Insider ponders Alex Bregman free agency battle after 2024

Though Bregman is a logical fit and one the Yankees would probably happily pay for, we'd guess the priorities lie with Soto, Burnes, Fried and Gerrit Cole, who will be exercising his opt-out clause -- which Hal Steinbrenner can negate by tacking on another year and $36 million to his contract.

Right off the bat, with Cole and Soto, the Yankees are in a ~$550 million hole. Throw in Burnes/Fried, and that's another $200 million. Bregman should be in the $150-$200 million range, too, and that's a conservative estimate. Boras might be out for blood next offseason with his clients after the struggles he's had over the last few months with Cody Bellinger, Jordan Montgomery, Blake Snell, Matt Chapman and JD Martinez.

It feels like the only way a Yankees-Mets bidding war over Bregman commences is if Soto outright says he's leaving and has no interest in returning to New York. Or if the Yankees have such a disappointing 2024 season that Steinbrenner loses his mind and decides to spend upwards of $1 billion.

The Astros claim they plan to offer Bregman an extension, but many believe it won't be enough to satiate his demands, so it feels like he's fated for free agency. We'd also like to guess the Mets might be more desperate for someone like Bregman because of their endless personnel issues and question marks at third base.

The Yankees shouldn't be ruled out of any potential chase, but predicting a bidding war with Cohen in early March is aggressive when you consider the front office's obvious priorities that have been discussed rather endlessly.