ifk and gleyber torres yankees
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It’s safe to assume there’s no love lost between the Yankees and Houston Astros. Between the sign-stealing scandal and constantly getting ousted by them in the postseason, there’s plenty of frustration to go around.

But sometimes, the most hated enemy can help you reach your goals. For the Yankees, that could mean alleviating a potential roster logjam in the middle infield.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa is taking reps in the outfield. So, we can assume he’s not winning the starting shortstop job. That may very well go to Oswald Peraza, who proved he could handle it last fall. But then there’s Anthony Volpe. He’s barely played above Double-A, but he looks ready for a chance in the big leagues.

Unfortunately for him, the presence of other veterans, like IKF and Gleyber Torres, provide multiple obstacles to him breaking camp with the Yankees. That’s where the Astros come in.

During Team Venezuela’s quarterfinal loss to Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, second baseman Jose Altuve got hit by a pitch in his hand. He fractured his thumb and surgery is needed, meaning he could be out for at least two months. In his place, MLB Trade Rumors notes David Hensley and Mauricio Dubon as two players who can fill in. Rylan Bannon is also on the 40-man roster, while Dixon Machado is in big-league camp as a non-roster invitee.

So, they’ve got some options, but their depth has definitely taken a hit with Altuve now on the shelf for an extended period of time. And his current timeframe to return isn’t considering any potential setbacks.

Opening Day is about a week and a half away. We typically don’t see a ton of trades happen at this time of year. Last-second injuries like this are a big reason why they do happen, though.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been trying to unload IKF and Torres in a trade for most of the winter but to no avail. It doesn’t seem like the Colorado Rockies want to take one of them, so he might as well try the same thing with Houston, right?

After all, the Astros are coming off their second World Series title since 2017. They’d probably like to keep as much space from the rest of the AL West as possible. IKF and Torres will each make less than $10 million this season. That’s not a ton of money, and they’re both free agents at the end of the year. New York would probably kick in some cash to cover part of their salary if it means getting a deal done, too.

It all really depends on what Houston wants to do. As I mentioned with the Mets and Edwin Diaz, it’s not necessary to freak out in the middle of March. The Astros’ middle-infield depth isn’t terrific. However, it’s probably something they can deal with for the first few weeks to see how things progress before making a decision.

That shouldn’t stop Cashman from trying, though.

Matt Musico can be reached at matt.musico@xlmedia.com and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.