Friday, November 9, 2012

Should the Cubs Consider Trading Starlin Castro?

Starlin Castro
The Cubs were horrendous in 2012, that much is obvious.  However, the team had a few bright spots in first baseman Anthony Rizzo, starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, and shortstop Starlin Castro.  Castro, only age 22, has been a Cubs regular since 2010 (he collected six RBI in his first MLB game) and he hasn't disappointed - after three seasons in in Chicago he carries a career .297 average, has already eclipsed 500 career hits, and has increased his power each season.

Castro may even be the best young shortstop in the game.  Doubt it?  Try naming one better.  Even with a prolonged slump in 2012, he still posted a .283 batting average, hit 14 home runs and 12 triples, and 78 runs.  He ranked seventh among shortstops in batting average - no one above him was younger. He led all shortstops in RBI (78) and triples (tied at 12 with Jose Reyes), and was third among shortstops in hits (183).  Remember, this is a 22 year-old who has consistently produced at the major league level.  Guys like that don't come around often.

Starlin does have his problems though.  A perceived lack of effort and concentration has led to a position-leading 27 errors in 2012.  Asdrubal Cabrera, who was second in shortstop errors, wasn't even close (19).  Castro still has problems with plate discipline as well - his strikeouts have increased and his on-base percentage has deceased each year he has been in the majors.  He only walked 36 times in a league-leading 646 at bats in 2012.  He isn't polished by any means.

Javier Baez
The question is simple: Do the Cubs think that Starlin Castro is a necessary piece on which to build the foundation of a winning team?  A good shortstop is a necessity, but it is possible that Castro could be replaced.  The Cubs currently have top prospect Javier Baez waiting in the minors and while he isn't polished either he has star potential written all over him.  Baez turns 20 on December 1 and last season at Single A Peoria he hit .333 in 57 games with 12 homers and 33 RBI.  He's raw, but his performance in the Arizona Fall League showed he has the tools to be a success in Chicago.

If the Cubs trust that Baez will eventually be ready to step in as the Cubs' everyday shortstop, will they be willing to trade Starlin?  Castro recently signed a seven year, $60 million dollar deal, which means some teams will automatically be out of any possible deal, but other teams will jump at the chance to acquire a good shortstop at a relatively affordable price.  If the Cubs can find the right player to target - say, Justin Upton of the Diamondbacks - Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer must seriously consider making a move.  Losing Castro may be unpopular with some fans, but pulling the trigger on a deal could lead to a more competitive Cubs team.


  1. I just have to tell you that you have really outdone yourself with this quality article presentation.

  2. I think Castro even be the best young shortstop in the game. I have no doubt about this.
    I know aboutEdnel Javier. Ednel Javier Báez is a Puerto Rican professional baseball infielder for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball. Born in Puerto Rico, Báez attended high school in Jacksonville, Florida, and starred for his school's baseball team.

  3. Starlin DeJesus Castro is a Dominican professional baseball infielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. He previously played for the Chicago Cubs.