The Houston Astros are in full rebuilding mode, a process begun last season. This off-season they have dealt Jed Lowrie and are willing to deal pitcher Bud Norris and are apparently listening on every player, including Jose Altuve.
Although I can’t blame them for listening on Altuve, I don’t think they will trade their All-Star second baseman. Altuve, as a rookie last season, hit .290/.340/.399 with 34 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and stole 33 bases. Any team wishing to acquire Altuve would have to really blow the Astros away with an offer, something I can’t see happening.
Altuve is a nice player who did very well last season with almost no help in the lineup. However, what he would cost in terms of prospects would be prohibitive for any team wishing to acquire him, at least right now.
Altuve would give any team acquiring him several years of solid production. He isn’t arbitration eligible until after the 2014 season and isn’t a free agent until after the 2017 season. Altuve is still just 22, and is called the best hitter in baseball, inch-for-inch, as he stands just 5’5” tall.
Altuve would make more sense for the Astros moving forward. They have a second baseman who can be the face of the franchise while the Astros wait for prospects to develop. He is still young enough, and cheap enough, to be part of any future the Astros are hoping for in Houston as they begin their sojourn into the American League this season.