2 players the Astros should trade, 3 they should keep around

Houston could stand to shake up their roster a bit to plan for their future.

Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Four
Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Four / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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Alex Bregman

Okay, this will make Astros fans mad and that is completely fair. Bregman has been a centerpiece of the Astros' roster since he arrived in the big leagues in 2016. He also just posted a 4.9 rWAR season in 2023, and the front office has already said that they are not looking to trade Bregman. However, completely closing that door seems like it could be very unwise.

While Bregman is still a productive player, a chunk of his value has been buoyed by his ability to draw walks and his defense. In recent years, he has turned into more of a 20+ homer guy instead of a 30 homer guy and a .260 hitter instead of a .280 hitter, like he was early on his career. Nearly across the board, his production has dipped over the last few seasons.

When you combine that diminished production with the fact that Bregman is almost certainly going to walk after the season, how much value would the Astros actually lose by trading him? They have Zach Dezenzo and Will Wagner in the minor leagues who are just waiting for an opportunity. If the Astros keep Bregman this year and let him walk, all they are going to get is a comp pick in the draft in return for their troubles. It may not feel great to trade a guy like Bregman, but dealing him could get a package that would go a long way towards restocking their farm system and potentially help offset some of the luxury tax penalties that they are set to incur.

Players that the Astros absolutely need to keep around

Framber Valdez

On the flip side of the trade coin, we have Framber Valdez. Now, sticking with a pitcher is notoriously risky, as they are the guys that are the most likely to break down. The laws of physics are not kind to the human arm. However, Valdez is a different situation altogether from Bregman, given that he is under control through 2025 and he doesn't have a real replacement coming from the minor league ranks.

All of the offseason rumors about a potential Valdez trade aside, trading the lefty stud now isn't the play. The Astros' pitching prospect depth is below average at best, and most of the rest of their rotation has age and/or injury concerns. The Astros have the right idea in trying to extend Valdez, because he is currently a lot harder to replace down the line, especially with the free agent prices for starters these days. Now, if we get to next offseason and more changes need to come, then maybe a trade makes more sense.