Bleacher Report views Reds as top destination for prized trade target in pricey deal

If the Astros are looking to trade Framber Valdez, the Reds seem like a logical destination.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59) throws a pitch
Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59) throws a pitch / Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

There are whispers beginnig to emerge that the Houston Astros may be looking to trade their ace Framber Valdez this offseason. Most of these rumors have little to do with actual reports and more to do with speculation. The Astros payroll is expected to be higher than normal under Jim Crane's ownership.

Alex Bregman will be a free agent after next season, Houston is looking to redo Jose Altuve's deal, and Kyle Tucker will be due a higher salary and/ or new contract very soon.

That pushes the focus toward the pitching side of things and the left-hander Valdez. The southpaw has two years of team-control remaining, and his ground ball-rate would work well at Great American Ball Park. But how much would it cost the Cincinnati Reds to trade for Valdez?

If the Reds were to trade for Framber Valdez, he would not come cheap

Bleacher Report views the Cincinnati Reds as the second most-likely destination for Framber Valdez if the Houston Astros decide to part ways with their ace. The Baltimore Orioles are viewed as the favorite.

Both the Reds and Orioles have a deep farm system and are need of a frontline starter. However, as is the case with Dylan Cease, if Cincinnati wants to trade for Valdez, it's going to cost a pretty penny in terms of prospect capital.

The difference between making a deal with the Astros for Valdez and swinging a trade with the Chicago White Sox for Cease is the likely return. While Chicago is rebuilding, Houston is ready to win now. As such, they'd likely be seeking MLB-ready talent.

Zachary Rymer at Bleacher Report believes it would take a combination of left-handed starter Nick Lodolo, right-handed reliever Fernando Cruz, and infield prospect Cam Collier in order to pry Framber Valdez away from the Astros.

That's a steep price tag, but would certainly put the Cincinnati Reds in the driver's seat of the NL Central. If you were Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall, would you make that deal?