Via Bob Nightengale, USA Today through Rob Neyer, SB Nation:
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.)
All comments welcome.