The Boston Red Sox came into the offseason with a dire need to bolster their rotation. At the onset, it looked like Boston would primarily pursue the free agency route. As many potential signings have come off the board, the Red Sox may be forced to turn some of their attention to the trade market.
In recent days, a new intriguing trade target has emerged, Houston Astros southpaw ace Framber Valdez. And he would be a perfect fit for the Red Sox.
Red Sox Rumors: Framber Valdez Trade Makes a Ton of Sense
Per Ken Rosenthal, "multiple teams are monitoring the situation of the Astros' ace Framber Valdez this offseason" and believe that Houston's front office could potentially move him in an effort to get below the luxury tax. Valdez is expected to earn $12.1 million in arbitration this season before becoming a free agent after the 2025 season.
Houston's motivation for trading away Valdez, who has been a key piece of their sustained success, is two-fold. The Astros can climb back below the luxury tax threshold by offloading the left-hander's salary, and they are also looking to restock a farm system that ranked dead-last in baseball in MLB.com's 2023 midseason rankings.
Boston's farm system comes in at number 16 in that same ranking. The Red Sox also have a surplus of bats in their system, but are "as thin as any organization in terms of pitching talent". Eventually, the Red Sox are going to have to make some tough decisions on which prospects they envision contributing to the franchise long-term, and which prospects they should shop as valuable trade chips in exchange for MLB talent.
Valdez has been a consistent presence at the top of the Astros' rotation over the past few seasons, earning back-to-back All-Star game nods, and finishing ninth in the Cy Young voting in 2023 and fifth last season.
In his last three seasons, Valdez has put together a 40-23 record, a 3.13 ERA, and 8.74 strikeouts per nine innings. He has been a workhouse at the top of Houston's rotation, racking up 534.3 innings in that span.
If Boston does in fact pull off a trade for the 30-year-old, he would unquestionably be their number one starter heading into the year, barring any other blockbuster transactions in the rotation.
Boston's AL East foe Baltimore Orioles, as well as the Chicago Cubs are also expected to be in contention for Valdez.
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