Chicago Cubs Rumors: Yankees tied to Starlin Castro of late


The Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees have reportedly talked a deal involving Starlin Castro.

It’s the elephant in the room – Starlin Castro, that is.

Halfway through last season, everyone had given up on the three-time All-Star. He headed into the Midsummer Classic batting an icy .247/.283/.321, but picked things up drastically in the second-half, slashing .295/.319/.464 down the stretch, including a white-hot 1.055 OPS in the season’s final month.

And, lo and behold, Castro is once again a hot commodity – with the most recent rumors tying the Chicago Cubs infielder to the New York Yankees. Here’s more from the New York Daily News.

"According to a source with knowledge of the Yankees’ thinking, the team could still be interested in Castro, who would play second base in the Bronx. The Yankees currently have the platoon of Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder at second base."

To say that Starlin has regained the value he had after an ‘up’ year in 2014 would be far-fetched, no doubt. Anyone who just looks at his overall numbers and is even remotely aware of his focus issues in the past would be wary of him, at least to a degree.

But, to be fair, he also possesses tremendous upside.

He’ll be 26 next spring – and will enter the season just nine hits shy of 1,000 for his big league career. He’s got defensive versatility, as well, as he’s now played both middle infield positions – and, as mentioned, he’s a three-time All-Star.

The NY Daily News report suggests that despite his upside, the Yankees are looking for more than Castro in return for veteran outfielder Brett Gardner, who I thought was a good fit in Chicago years ago before he signed a deal to remain in the Big Apple.

"The Yankees have discussed Gardner with “many teams” according to a major-league executive, and while it’s no certainty that the outfielder will be traded, the team appears willing to move him for the right price."

The report goes on to say that “the price is higher than Castro,” according to sources. That, honestly, is a bit puzzling to me because, frankly, I’m not as high on Gardner as I once was.

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Adding an outfielder like Gardner would be no different than bringing back Dexter Fowler. I say this in the sense that the same outcome will follow: the up-and-coming prospects in the Chicago farm system, including Albert Almora and Billy McKinney Jr., will face a roadblock for the next three or four years.

So if you’re so set on trading Castro, I suppose my biggest question is this: why trade him to New York for a piece you probably don’t need when you could seek a better deal centered around young pitching – which is the Cubs’ most abundant and glaring need.

A few years ago, I would have jumped at the chance to bring a player like Gardner to the Windy City. But, if I’m being honest, I’d much rather see the Chicago Cubs deal from a position of strength to address needs bigger than a veteran outfielder heading into his mid-30s.