Astros GM expects to fill Jose Altuve absence internally, but has engaged in trade talks


(SportsRadio 610) - Astros general manager Dana Brown expects to fill Jose Altuve's absence to start this season with internal candidates, but he has engaged in trade talks as a potential alternative.

The Astros' All-Star second baseman underwent surgery to repair his broken right thumb last Wednesday. He is expected to miss at least the first two months of the season after suffering the fracture from a hit-by-pitch during the World Baseball Classic.

Houston's top internal options to fill in for Altuve, arguably the best second baseman in the sport, are Mauricio Dubón and David Hensley. Dubón is the more experienced player, having played four major league seasons compared to Hensley's 16 games last season with Houston.

When asked Monday about the plan to fill Altuve's role, Brown said while he's engaged with other teams, he's also comfortable with what the Astros already have.

"Initially, we're going to let our guys play a little bit," I think we have some internal candidates that we're excited about and we're just going to watch them play. Often times when you go outside your organization, you're in a position where you're going to give up prospects. And of course, no matter who you get, when Altuve comes back he's playing. So we just have to be careful in that area.

"We have engaged outside of the organization, but right now we're very comfortable with what we have in the organization as we continue to talk to other teams."

The Astros open their season Thursday with a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. They look to become the first back-to-back World Series champions since the 2000 New York Yankees.

Brandon Scott is the editor for Follow him on Twitter @brandonkscottReach him directly via email:

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