5 trade packages that could convince the Astros to trade Framber Valdez

The Astros are listening on Framber Valdez. Here are some trade packages that could get their attention.
Oct 22, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59) throws a
Oct 22, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59) throws a / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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As much as Dana Brown has said that he isn't going to trade any of the Houston Astros' key players this offseason, there has still been a lot of smoke around the idea over the last month or so. Houston finds themselves with very limited room to maneuver given their payroll situation leading to what has been a very quiet offseason thus far. One name that has popped up more and more as a potential trade piece is Astros starter Framber Valdez.

By all accounts, the likelihood that Framber is traded is pretty low. Valdez is probably the best pitcher on an Astros' team that has aspirations of making the World Series again in 2024. However, making such a move may be the only way for the Astros to free up some payroll to address other issues with the roster while also restocking a pretty thin farm system. Two years of control of a pitcher as good as Framber would fetch a nice premium, after all.

So far, the word is that while the Astros are not actively shopping Valdez around, they aren't hanging up the phone as soon as other teams ask about him, either. At least six teams have called and expressed interest in Valdez, although there is no indication that those conversations have gotten beyond the introductory phase just yet.

The question now becomes what would it take to get the Astros interested? They have two years of (fairly expensive) team control of Framber who is probably a top 10 pitcher in the American League at minimum. Houston wouldn't be interested in taking on much, if any, payroll in any deal and they would want some big league ready talent in return.

With those conditions in mind, here is a look at some trade frameworks that could get the Astros interested in moving Framber Valdez. These are just the cores of potential packages for Valdez as it would probably take at least another fringe prospect or two to get a deal done, but there isn't much sense in speculating on those sorts of minor names. On to the list...

Braves send Vaughn Grissom, AJ Smith-Shawver, and Spencer Schwellenbach

The Braves have been one of the more obvious teams this offseason that would very much like to add a starting pitcher. They missed out on Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray and are not the type of team to hand out lengthy and expensive deals that a guy like Yoshinobu Yamamoto or even Jordan Montgomery are going to command. They have been in on Dylan Cease's trade market as well, but there doesn't seem to be much movement on the White Sox's side there just yet.

Given that Dana Brown helped build most of the Braves' current farm system, he is going to be intimately familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of most of his options with Atlanta. Vaughn Grissom would give Houston a big league ready bat who just doesn't have a big league spot with the Braves right now. AJ Smith-Shawver, a Texas native, would add a big league arm with significant upside given the quality of his fastball and Brown is well-known to absolutely love Spencer Schwellenbach's potential on the mound going back to when he drafted him with the Braves.

Amongst trade packages that could feasibly land Valdez, Houston could do a lot worse than starting with a core of a package like the one the Braves could offer.