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Yankees potential trade partner: Houston Astros

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Everyone expected the Houston Astros to be great this year, but after a 7-17 start to the year things weren't looking so good. Of course they went on to play better baseball, but the poor start really hurt them as the Astros currently sit 6.5 games behind the AL West-leading Texas Rangers. Fortunately for them, they currently lead the six-car pile up that is the American League wild card race, and remain within striking distance of the Boston Red Sox for a playoff spot. However, if they want to make that final push, they could look to the Yankees for some reinforcements.

So far this season, the Astros have gotten some of the worst production out of their designated hitter in the league. Made up of a group led by Evan Gattis, Houston's DH has served up a .199/.263/.402 batting line on the season, while Gattis himself has only managed to hit .216/.284/.427. He's hit 13 home runs for them, but has pretty much done nothing else this year. He's also only managed to be a league-average hitter against lefties (105 wRC+). As a player who literally does nothing else besides hit, Gattis is providing no value to them, as evidenced by his -0.1 WAR.

If the Astros wish to improve before the trade deadline, they could match up with the Yankees to make a deal. Despite being nearly 40 years old, Carlos Beltran would be a major upgrade for a lot of teams with the season he is having. He's hit .297/.337/.563 with 19 home runs on his way to his ninth, and likely final, All-Star Game, and is hitting from both sides of the plate, so he would not need a platoon.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, Beltran's biggest problem since coming to the Bronx has been that he is really just a designated hitter at this point, but with Alex Rodriguez already filling that role, he's been forced to play right field. His shoddy fielding has cost the Yankees plenty, and the additional wear on his body has not helped. Mercifully, if they were to trade him to the Astros, he could slide right into the DH spot and never have to play the outfield again. Gattis, meanwhile could serve as a right-handed bat off the bench.

A deal could also work financially because the Yankees would likely eat a decent amount of money on Beltran's $15 million contract if it meant getting a better prospect back. It's hard to say who they could get in return, especially with Beltran being at the end of his career and currently nursing a knee injury, but if Houston wants to go for it this year, a powerful bat in the lineup could give them the extra boost needed to claim a wild card spot.

If I'm the Yankees, I'm holding out for a top 100 prospect on the back end of the list in return for Carlos Beltran. This will be their only chance to get compensation for him because there's no way they offer him the qualifying offer in the offseason. The Astros have plenty of talented pitchers and outfielders in their system, with a few third basemen who would immediately improve the team's depth at the position. Someone like Derek Fischer, who was just ranked No. 94 on Baseball America's top 100 list, would be a perfect target. Otherwise Colin Moran or J.D. Davis have my attention.

Maybe the Astros balk there, but it's easy to see how these two teams could come to an amicable deal that would help Houston now, and New York in the future.