The San Francisco Giants finally kicked off their offseason by signing Jung Hoo Lee last week. Now that they have some momentum, they need to put it toward a few more acquisitions if they're going to compete in the NL West against the likes of the Dodgers and Diamondbacks next year.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Astros might be a team to turn to if you're looking for a top-line pitcher. Nightengale writes that while Houston isn't actively shopping their No. 2 starter Framber Valdez, but they have listened to initial inquiries on him from more than five teams. The Giants will be without the services of Alex Cobb for the start of 2024, so trading for another starting arm should be a top priority after getting Lee.
SF Giants Rumors: Should the Giants deal with the Astros in a potential blockbuster?
Ross Stripling, Kyle Harrison, and Keaton Winn, who are expected to step up as San Francisco's Nos. 3 through 5 starters only pitched 89, 34 2/3, and 42 1/3 innings respectively in 2023. However, Stripling has only pitched more than 120 innings twice in his eight year career, and Harrison and Winn, despite being the Giants' Nos. 1 and 16 prospects with a lot of promise, are still untested.
Conversely, Valdez pitched 198 innings for a 3.45 ERA and 200 strikeouts, earning him an All-Star appearance and Cy Young votes this year. If the Giants dealt with the Astros, whose rotation is also in a somewhat tenuous place because of Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia's uncertain futures coming off of major surgeries, they could send Harrison in a lefty-for-lefty deal. Harrison is still a very young pitcher, but he's been a top 10 prospect for the Giants since 2021 and the Giants seem prepared to give him the ball consistently next season.
On top of everything, Valdez doesn't hit free agency for another two seasons, and he's predicted to make just under $13 million next year, making him not only a young and oftentimes elite pitcher, but a relatively affordable one as well. He could be a perfect solution for the Giants' rotation woes.