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Yankees potential trade target: Jed Lowrie and the Astros infielders

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The Houston Astros have a surplus of middle infielders and the Yankees don't have enough. Could they find a trade partner in the AL West leaders?

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

After just 29 games in the big leagues, 2012 no. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa could be the best shortstop in the American League. The Astros already had an All-Star second baseman in Jose Altuve and a switch-hitting shortstop in Jed Lowrie who is recovering from thumb surgery. Even so, that didn't stop the Astros from picking LSU shortstop Alex Bregman with the second overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. Bregman has drawn comparisons to Dustin Pedroia because of his size and makeup. In other words, they have a lot of infield depth now and they have a lot more on the way.

Then there's the Yankees. Didi Gregorius, who to his credit has been picking it up lately, should not be the best middle infielder on a contending team. Every Yankee fan has at some point expressed his or her discontent with Stephen Drew, but quite literally speaking, there will always be a spot on the team for Drew unless the Yankees can find someone not named Brendan Ryan to play short when they pinch hit for Didi. If they could find a right-handed middle infielder, the Yankees could kill two birds with one stone–finding a potential platoon partner for Didi Gregorius and cutting ties with Drew.

Jed Lowrie was injured in late April and should be making his way back to the Astros soon. When he returns, it might be a little awkward for him to see Carlos Correa hitting moonshots in his former position. The Astros could be willing to part with Lowrie for the right price, although it would be very unlikely. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow knew Carlos Correa was coming and pursued both Lowrie and third baseman Luis Valbuena anyway. Lowrie is likely a 1-3 win player who is signed through 2017 with an option for 2018 and won't come cheap.

On the more realistic side, the Astros have two switch-hitting middle infielders in Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar who can provide replacement-level play for cheap. The goal of trading for either player would be to stop the bleeding when it comes to Didi Gregorius and left-handed pitchers. For the season, Didi has a 32 wRC+ against southpaws in an already lefty-dominated lineup.

At Triple-A Fresno, there is a prospect who has drawn rave reviews by the name of Tony Kemp. Standing at just five-foot-six, Kemp was an on-base and stolen-base machine for Vanderbilt. He played in the outfield in school but has been converted to second base in the minors. For those who are interested in that kind of thing, Kemp was regarded to be an excellent clubhouse leader during his time at Vanderbilt. In 28 games at Triple-A Fresno he is hitting .299/.344/.385. The Yankees were known to be looking at Braves prospect Jose Peraza, another speedy contact-oriented infielder. Unfortunately, the Braves have no reason whatsoever to trade Peraza, whereas the 23-year-old Kemp is blocked by Altuve in Houston. Plus, nobody really has any idea what's going on with Yankees fan favorite Rob Refsnyder.

The Yankees should be paying attention to their impending logjam up the middle, but unless Jeff Luhnow is willing to part with Lowrie for a reasonable prospect haul, it will be tough to find very much value from the Astros. Even something as little as an upgrade for Stephen Drew and a platoon partner for Didi Gregorius can go a long way. When they drafted Alex Bregman, the Astros said they would cross that bridge when they got to it. With the emergence of Carlos Correa, they might be closer to that bridge than they thought.