Polanco, 34, is a 12-year veteran who batted .285 with 10 home runs and 72 RBIs last season with the Tigers and finished 25th in the American League voting for Most Valuable Player. A two-time Gold Glove winner, Polanco was the MVP of the 2006 AL Championship Series.
He's a career .303 hitter with the Cardinals, Tigers and Phillies, where he played for Astros general manager Ed Wade. The Phillies acquired him from St. Louis in the Scott Rolen trade in 2002, and he was traded to Detroit in '05.
Polanco is a Type A free agent who wasn't offered arbitration by the Tigers, which means the Astros could sign him without having to forfeit compensation Draft picks. He had a base salary of $4.6 million last season.
Polanco has played primarily second base the last four seasons, but he has also played shortstop and third. The Astros are looking for a possible offensive upgrade at third to join Geoff Blum, who has re-signed for 2010.
In 2007, Polanco earned a Silver Slugger at second after hitting .341 with 200 hits and the lowest strikeout percentage in the Majors. He was voted to start in the All-Star Game that year for the AL.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.