2. Framber Valdez
It may be hard for any team to trade away one of their top starting pitchers, but it seems as though the Houston Astros have at least entertained the idea in regards to Framber Valdez.
Valdez had been solid throughout his career in Houston, particularly shining in the 2022 and 2023 seasons. In 2022, Valdez led the American League with 201.1 innings pitched, three complete games, and one shutout. This past season, Valdez threw a major league-best two shutouts, one of which was his first career no-hitter, doing so against the Cleveland Guardians on just 93 pitches.
In those two seasons, Valdez recorded a 3.13 ERA, a 1.142 WHIP, a 29-17 win-loss record, 394 strikeouts, and 124 walks in 399.1 innings.
Overall in Valdez's six seasons with the Astros, he posted a 3.40 ERA, a 1.217 WHIP, a 53-34 win-loss record, 697 strikeouts, and 266 walks in 712.1 innings (129 games).
Valdez is under team control through the 2025 seasons, as he is still arbitration-eligible. If Valdez were to hit free agency, he could command a large, long-term contract, one that could price out the Astros. USA Today's Bob Nightengale noted in December that while the Astros didn't plan on trading Valdez, they listened to offers from at least five teams.
The Astros have proven to be an organization that can develop top-tier starting pitching. In that case, if they don't feel like a contract is within reach, especially with so much money devoted to Hader and Altuve within the next five years, trading Valdez could be an option.