The Yankees, searching for bench help, have spoken with the Astros about infielder Jeff Keppinger, according to major league sources.
A trade does not appear close, but the teams have engaged in recent discussions, one source said.
The Astros increased the possibility of trading Keppinger on Friday by reaching agreement with free agent Bill Hall on a one-year contract to play second base.
The Yankees had shown interest in Hall, but Keppinger, who stands to receive a raise from his $1.15 million in his second year of arbitration, could fill a similar role.
Keppinger, 30, was the Astros’ primary second baseman last season. He can back up at all four infield positions and also has made five career appearances in the outfield.
The Astros likely would ask for no more than a mid-level prospect in return, especially now that Keppinger has lost his everyday job.
Keppinger batted .288 with a .351 on-base percentage and .393 slugging average last season, with six home runs and 59 RBI in 575 plate appearances. He lacks speed and power, but was the most difficult player to strike out in the majors last season.
— Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi