Chicago Cubs: Breaking down an offseason to-do list

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Jul 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Step Three: Trade Starlin Castro for starting pitching

With a logjam of middle infielders, including Addison Russell, Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella and others, in the mix, it looks more and more like Starlin Castro won’t finish out his current deal in a Chicago Cubs uniform.

That doesn’t mean Theo and Jed will simply dump him for nothing – he has too much potential for that. In fact, I’ve repeatedly made the case for keeping Castro long-term. But after a strong finish to 2015, I believe one of two things will happen.

One: Chicago takes a lesser return and deals Castro this winter

Two: Chicago sits tight, hopes Castro has a strong first-half and deals him at the deadline

Either way, he’s on his way out – at least in my mind.

So assume they trade him this winter. What’s the Cubs’ biggest need? Starting pitching. Don’t be surprised to see Chicago hook up with someone like Atlanta or San Diego on a deal that would bring someone like Tyson Ross or Shelby Miller to the North Side, although the latter would probably take more than just Castro to get it done.

Castro enters next season less than 10 hits away from 1,000 knocks in his young big-league career. He’s a three-time All-Star who can play both middle infield positions and has plenty of ‘pop’ in the bat. Suffice to say, he’s a decent trade chip – especially with Baez waiting in the wings to take over at second.

Next: Sign at least one quality relief pitcher