Is a Castro trade as inevitable as people say?
It might not matter what the Chicago Cubs choose to do during the trade deadline. With the early success the team is experiencing along with the contributions from the young prospects, the Cubs are in a great spot. Come late July, Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer and team president Theo Epstein can decide to go for it or sit tight, and honestly I don’t think fans would be upset either way.
The Cubs are currently playing with house money. Kris Bryant and Addison Russell both arrived and early on have made their presence known. Anthony Rizzo is starting to settle in as the leader and possible MVP that many experts predicted when the season started. Starlin Castro has found new life and for the first time in his career is being fueled by the prospect of playing in the post-season.
Once we see the return of Javier Baez, the Cubs will have three high-level players that can occupy two positions.
Much speculation has been made about a possible trade involving one of the young stars. For all accounts, Castro appears to be the one most likely to depart if the Cubs make a move. But do they have to?
Joe Maddon has made a reputation for changing his lineups all the time. He will find creative ways to get guys in the lineups. If anyone can find a way to use Castro, Russell, and Baez it would be Maddon. However, the front office will be the first to tell you that this team is still in building mode. The young core is being given the opportunity to develop at the major league level which they hope will make them more prepared down the road.
When the Cubs traded Jeff Samardzija to Oakland at the deadline last July, it was a young prospect, considered one of the best in all of baseball, who came to Chicago. Shortstop Addison Russell came to the windy city and fans just about lost their minds with excitement. But wait, we have two shortstops who are young and talented.
More from Chicago Cubs News
- Cubs should keep close eye on non-tender candidate Cody Bellinger
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
With that move, it became apparent what might be happening down the road. By targeting Russell, the Cubs feel they have found “their guy” for the future. Sure enough, trade speculation amped up regarding Castro and his role on the team.
Epstein and Hoyer have been great so far at getting the most out of players and turning them over for more quality pieces; maybe this is the moment. Castro is playing at a high level and has shown improvement in areas that plagued him before. His stock may never be higher than it is right now. If the Cubs truly want to contend this year, they can use that large trade chip and get some pieces back that will hopefully lead to prolonged success.
The Cubs are in a great position. If they want to make a move they can do it knowing that they call the shots. If not, they will continue to progress the same way they have been doing for the last few years. Playing with house money may be the perfect way to describe this team. The Cubs have nothing to lose this year. They have already exceeded everyone’s expectations and in the mean time have rekindled the fire and passion of a fanbase in desperate need to something good.
When they make a move, know that it will mean that the Cubs are going for it. Until then, let’s enjoy watching this team with an eye on the horizon.