Chicago Cubs: Starlin Castro’s future with club is still unkown
For another offseason, the debate to trade or not to trade Starlin Castro surrounds the Chicago Cubs and their front office. The young all-star seemed to be on his way out of Chicago last offseason when rumors of the New York Mets being in the forefront of those rumors to acquire the services.
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The Mets had a need and a surplus of young pitching, the Cubs had a need for young pitching and a surplus of young infielders – it seemed like a perfect match for any general manager, but any trade involving Castro fell through for whatever reason.
Likely the Cubs played a hardline negotiation tactic and asked for a very high price hoping to cash in and the Mets wouldn’t budge.
The Mets went on to win the NLCS, but in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals, they showed a lot of weaknesses they didn’t have in the series before against the Chicago Cubs. Poor infield play, untimely hitting, all things that were not a problem against the Cubs, reared its ugly head against the Royals.
Could that series bring the Mets back to the negotiation table with the Cubs to make a move for Castro?
The Mets still have a lot of very good young pitching – and another strong-arm on its way back in Zack Wheeler, who should be back healthy from Tommy John surgery. They could afford to move one of those young arms, but will they is the real question.
The Boston Red Sox could also call up their old general manager and team president, Theo Epstein, and play “Let’s make a deal”. Boston may not have the major league ready pitching the Mets have, but they do have Clay Buchholz who just had his $13 million option exercised for the 2016 season.
Boston does have a very good farm system and they do have some extra outfielders they might be willing to move, like Jackie Bradley Jr.
The price this off-season may not be as high as it was last offseason, but with an outstanding last month of the season and a very good playoff run at the plate, Castro did help the Chicago Cubs with his value not only to the team on the field but in the trade market as well.
He played well at second base and seemed very comfortable with the transition from shortstop to second. Aside from that, he’s still very young (will have just turned 26 when the season starts), and is under control with a very affordable contract for another five seasons.
Castro still holds a lot of value, even with the slight slump that he did face for a large portion of the season. But he might be best served with the Cubs to keep him on the roster if they are not overwhelmed with a super trade for a top half of the rotation starter.
Joe Maddon can play him at second, short, or third, leaving many options available to him defensively, and he can bat anywhere in the order and provide adequate protection for any of the big sluggers the Cubs have in front of him.
Castro may be an enigma for the Chicago Cubs and all of Wrigleyville, but he’s a good problem to have on your side.
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