FanPost

Starlin Castro Available?


Via Bob Nightengale, USA Today through Rob Neyer, SB Nation:

The Cubs are letting teams know that nearly everyone but starter Jeff Samardzija is available, two high-ranking team officials told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because of competitive reasons.

Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster are veterans starters who can fill out the top of a rotation for a contender. Shortstop Starlin Castro already is a star at 22 but can be obtained for two impact prospects. First baseman Bryan LaHair, a surprise bright spot with 10 home runs, can be cleared to make room for top prospect Anthony Rizzo.

And the Cubs gladly will chip in cash for a team to take left fielder Alfonso Soriano and the more than $45 million left on his contract.

Would you dream of making an offer for Starlin Castro? I don't think I would, given what we already have.

But it's interesting. Castro was born in 1990, turned 22 in March, and has already produced 7.3 wins above replacement in 333 career games. By comparison, our Ian Desmond is 26 and has produced just 4.4 wins above replacement in 378 career games. Two other middle infielders, Danny Espinosa (age 25, 235 G, 4.2 WAR) and Steve Lombardozzi (age 23, 51 G, 0.5 WAR) are also older but have not approached Castro's production.

If you are more a traditionalist and don't like WAR, here are their career batting averages:

Lombardozzi .291 (39/148)

Espinosa .230 (195/969)

Desmond .262 (369/1407)

Castro .306 (411/1342)

Castro is the youngest, yet, thus far, most productive of the lot. So, yes, it's interesting.

If you did try to cut a deal, what would you offer? What do you think the Cubs would want? The original article suggests it would take two impact prospects. So, I figure you don't get this done without making Anthony Rendon part of the trade. To make the playing time work on our end, you'd probably have to include either Desmond or Espinosa--hopefully the Cubs would want one of them. (Actually, who knows if they'd even want Rendon with his injury risk?) But that still leaves another impact prospect. Would Brian Goodwin count? Sammy Solis?

(You can't trade players until you've had their rights for a year, right? Either way, that marker passes for the Nationals' 2011 picks well before the July 31 trade deadline.)

Poll below!

All comments welcome.

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