Chicago Cubs: Can Starlin Castro be reborn on the North Side?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: What are the Cubs’ other options?

What are your other options at second base? Are any of them going to sign a one or two-year deal? Will any of them already have a tie to Joe Maddon or the clubhouse? Will any of them put up good offensive numbers or play solid defense?

With Starlin Castro, you’re almost certainly going to get a guy who hits about .280, hits 15 to 20 home runs, drives in 60 to 70 runs and gets on base in the low-.300s.  While he doesn’t necessarily fit the profile for working at-bats, walking and hitting for power that most of the Cubs seem to fit in.

Maybe it would be a good thing to have a higher contact guy in the midst of a bunch of guys who see a ton of pitches. (Although, Castro did post a 7.4 percent walk rate last season, by far his best as a pro). He also possesses the ability to hit just about any pitcher at any velocity and has also been durable in his Major League career, logging at least 473 PA in every one of his nine years since being called up by the Cubs in 2010.

In Castro, you also have a guy Maddon would feel comfortable with. He could let him play short on days when Baez needs a day off or have him take a seat when the situation calls for a Ben Zobrist, Tommy LaStella, Ian Happ or even David Bote to play second.

If there’s one thing the Cubs skipper covets, it’s flexibility. Castro affords him that and won’t be an issue if he gets 400 at-bats versus 600 at-bats.  A player on a one-year free agent deal trying to build back his stock (a DJ LeMahieu type, for instance, if he doesn’t get a long-term deal) is going to want to play 150 games and get his 600 ABs, if possible, and could become a bit of an issue if Maddon is looking for versatility.