Who’s Taking His Place?
Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
Most Cubs’ fans were sure that Javier Baez was the future at shortstop for them. Now they’re sure it’s Russell. The thing is, neither has proven themselves as capable at the plate on a regular basis at the Major League level. Can either or both prove otherwise? Of course they can. But are you willing to sacrifice an established player to gamble on that? I’m not. And I don’t think Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are either.
Even if Russell is the shortstop as early as next season, there’s no heir apparent to take over second if it wasn’t Castro. Again, Baez hasn’t established anything yet–and it sounds like the Cubs have cooled on expectations for him. I’ve said it since I started writing for Cubbies Crib–not all prospects make it, no matter how much of a “sure thing” the are.
The Cubs could of course sign someone to play second base. But what have we learned about free agency? You’re going to overpay, and you’re probably going to be upset with the deal in a few years. So why do it? They’re best to stick with Castro–even at second–for another year or two before abandoning him. Again, sixth season, three-time All-Star. and don’t give me that “one player has to go for every team” line. He batted .307, .283 and .292 in the seasons he went. If you thought Bryant was worth the selection this season, you have no argument against Castro’s selections.
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