Last season around the trade deadline, there were many rumors surrounding the young second sacker. Expect this year to be no different. The Astros are in the middle of rebuilding, and are having a tough go of things in their first season as an American League team. I expect the Astros to hold on to Altuve as they should.
There is no question that the Astros will receive a nice package of prospects in return for Altuve, but the time is not right to trade him. He is still an extremely young player, just 23 years old, and is under team control for a few more years. He is extremely cheap at this point, and obviously an extremely good hitter. He is still developing. His percentage of swinging at first pitches has dropped, and as a result, his walk rate has gone up. If he can continue that, he will continue to develop into an elite second baseman. He won’t hit for much power, but he can stroke doubles, and he hits for a high average.
Because the Astros have a second baseman in waiting, Delino DeShields Jr, many people believe Altuve will be traded. I happen to believe he will be traded, but not until DDJ is ready. It just wouldn’t make sense to trade a cheap, talented, 23 year old right now. Let him contribute to your Major League team until DDJ is ready. DDJ is currently at High A Lancaster. He is, at the very least, two years away from being Major League ready.
Until DeShields is ready, I don’t think the Astros should think about trading Altuve. But, that may just be me.