The Texas Rangers used a series of trades and free agent signings to fortify their roster and build a World Series champion. Players like Corey Seager, Adolis Garcia and Marcus Semien, among others, were brought in through these means and were absolutely pivotal in helping the Texas win its first ever title.
But now is when every team in the MLB can look to improve its roster through trades and free agent signings. And with the offseason in full swing, rumors of potential transactions have begun running rampant.
One of those rumors involves star Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman. The Astros could look for a Bregman trade because he is entering the final year of his current contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and The Athletic. Houston is also reportedly bracing to lose Bregman as a free agent next year, so getting ahead of his eventual departure by trading him and saving money while doing so would be prudent on part of the Astros.
All of the above begs the question: What teams should trade for Alex Bregman?
The Mets would make a lot of sense as a potential Alex Bregman trade destination for a multitude of reasons. For one, they really need another bat.
New York ranked 26th in the MLB in batting average (.238), 20th in on-base percentage (.291), 18th in slugging percentage (.407), 18th in OPS (.723) and 20th in runs scored (717) last season. Bregman's hitting lines (.262/.363/.441/.804) were better individually than any of the Mets' hitting lines were as a team.
Individually, New York did not get a ton of production from many of their players, either. Among players with at least 100 at bats, only Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil and Tommy Pham, who the Mets traded midseason to the Arizona Diamondbacks, posted a batting average above .250 last season. Lindor, Nimmo, Francisco Alvarez and Pete Alonso were the only players to hit at least 20 home runs for New York last season. That's just not good enough.
Not only did the Mets not get enough production from their bats last season, they were particularly lacking at third base. Brett Baty played 107 games for New York, most among players who predominantly played third base for the team. His numbers were… not what Bregman posted last season.
Baty posted hitting lines of .212/.275/.323/.598 while adding nine home runs and 34 RBI. As mentioned earlier, Bregman's hitting lines blew those out the water. Bregman would be a substantial upgrade for the Mets at a position they could really afford an upgrade.
Speaking of affordability, the Mets literally can afford to take on the last season of Bregman's contract at $30.5 million and pay him what he wants afterward. Owner Steve Cohen has been far from bashful when it comes to opening his wallet. New York had the highest payroll in MLB last season at $343.6 million. The year before, the Mets were second in payroll at roughly $268.3 million.
New York was already projected to have the second-highest payroll for the 2024 season at around $204.4 million. If the Mets see a player they like and can bring in, money won't be an issue in making that happen, all the more reason they should be in on a Bregman trade.
Another team that badly needs a bat is the Giants. Despite winning four more games than the Mets in 2023, they weren't much better as an offensive team. In fact, they were worse. San Francisco ranked 24th in the MLB in runs scored (674), 28th in batting average (.235), 24th in on-base percentage (.312), 27th in slugging percentage (.383) and 26th in OPS (.695).
The Giants just don't have a linchpin to hold their batting order down. Their best hitter last season was Wilmer Flores, who led the team in home runs (23) and batting average (.284). JD Davis was their leader in RBI, but only had 69 of them. Flores was the only player on the team last season to hit more than 20 home runs. Only three Giants with at least 100 at bats in 2023 posted a batting average of at least .250: Flores, Thairo Estrada, and LaMonte Wade Jr.
San Francisco badly need a credible hitter to hold its order together. Bregman is that. He'd instantly walk into that clubhouse as the best hitter on the team. His individual averages were also better than the Giants' were as a collective. He's hit at least 23 home runs in all but one season he's played at least 100 games as a pro. Bregman is someone San Francisco should absolutely pursue if the price is right.