Throughout this offseason, Houston Astros fans have had the constant bombardment of speculation regarding the team's future over the next couple of years. From discussions of extensions (or not) to just the Astros' long-term viability given their payroll, this offseason has often sounded like the beginning of the end instead of a celebration of a team that is among the favorites in the American League this season.
There is no clearer example than all of the trade chatter surrounding Framber Valdez.
At multiple points this offseason, Valdez has been the subject of rampant trade speculation. Even though most reports have been clear that the Astros are not looking to move him, the sheer act of the Astros possibly answering the phone has fans across the league trying to figure out how to pry him away from Houston.
The problem is that it makes zero sense for the Astros to trade Valdez right now, although that doesn't seem to stop folks from trying to make it sound logical.
Trading Framber Valdez right now is completely nonsensical for Astros
If you completely ignore the Astros' aspirations to contend this year (which, again, you can't or else Houston would be shopping Alex Bregman around), trading away Valdez still doesn't compute. Dana Brown is already on the record as saying he wants to extend both Valdez and Kyle Tucker as guys to build his roster around. Assuming the gaps in talks aren't completely insurmountable, moving Valdez now would bring some real questions about the Astros' processes.
Instead, we have Red Sox sites trying to formulate trade packages for Framber and everyone trying to guess which six teams have reached out to Houston about the left-hander and what that could mean. It is all absolutely maddening. Unless some team throws half their good farm system at the Astros for two years of him, he isn't going anywhere.
If the Hader signing taught us anything, it's that the front office and ownership wants to win in 2024. Trading away the team's best pitcher when he isn't going to be a free agent until after 2025 would be objectively insane unless, again, a team made an irresponsible trade offer than included big league talent.
That said, next offseason is an entirely different situation. Valdez will then be entering his walk year and both sides will have a better sense of what Houston can/will offer in an extension. If the two sides aren't close by then and the Astros have a plan for their rotation, a trade is a lot more likely. Until then, folks need to stop the madness.