Valdez's journey from unknown foreign signing to Houston's World Series ace in 2022 is one of the most improbable in recent memory.
Now, with a championship and Cy Young finish in the top five (not to mention the MLB record for consecutive quality starts) on his credit.
Valdez could be in line for a significant contract extension prior to the conclusion of arbitration judgements on February 17.
Age is not on Valdez's favour when he analyses his future market, since he will be 32 years old by the time he becomes a free agent following the 2025 season.
Yet this calculation could assist expedite a deal between the ground-ball specialist and the Astros.
Even though Valdez's market may be limited by the end of the agreement, he will have earned top-of-the-rotation wages in 2023, 2024, and 2025.
How would a contract extension between Valdez and the Astros look? Recent contracts may give a useful analogy.
Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman signed five-year deals worth $115 million and $110 million, respectively, during the offseason of 2022.
Padres ace Joe Musgrove signed a five-year, $100 million contract extension with the Padres in March of 2018.
Valdez's 2022 productivity compares favourably to that of the aforementioned three of pitchers, and his postseason performance warrants at least some consideration.