Jul 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (13) doubles against the Washington Nationals during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Cubs won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors: Could Starlin Castro Be Dealt?

Barry Larkin with power.”

That was the immediate scouting report that was given on the Cubs’ latest top prospect, shortstop Addison Russell. The Cubs acquired Russell as the centerpiece in a trade on Friday night that sent starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics.

Russell, arguably, becomes the Cubs’ best overall prospect.

That statement would seem unlikely considering the praise that Cubs’ third base prospect Kris Bryant has received this season but scouts across Major League baseball consider Russell to be a franchise-altering prospect. Though, the same sentiment has been shared about Bryant and shortstop prospect Javier Baez.

Ah, yes, Baez.

Some fans were up in arms on Friday night upon reading that the Cubs acquired Russell. Russell being a top-flight shortstop prospect thus giving the Cubs three highly-touted shortstops once you figure in Baez and Starlin Castro.

Barring a position change for one of the three, the Cubs have an interesting problem on their hands.

Though, this is a welcomed problem.

The problem is where to play Baez and Russell once they join Castro on the Major League team.

The likely scenario is that Baez and Castro will change positions. Russell, of the three, is considered to be the best defensive shortstop. Meaning Castro could move to second base with Baez shifting to third base. Such a scenario would see Bryant be moved to the outfield.

But, there is another reason why the Cubs may have acquired Russell on Friday night.

The Cubs could be dangling one of the three talented shortstops for a possible trade.

With Baez and Russell likely being valued over Castro in the Cubs’ organization, do not put it past the front office to trade Castro.

The Cubs’ front office has made excellent work out of cashing in on player’s when their trade value is at a high-point. That strategy is what brought starting pitcher Jake Arrieta and reliever Pedro Strop to the organization last season and is how Russell was acquired on Friday.

After a disappointing 2013 season, Castro’s trade value has increased with an impressive start to the 2014 season.

Castro is hitting .290/.335/.472 this season with a wOBA of .351 and a 121 wRC+. Castro is also on a pace to have a career high in home runs this season as the shortstop already has 11 this season. That is why it should be no surprise that Castro’s ISO of .182 this season is higher than it’s been at any other point in his career.

The Cubs’ front office could cash in on Castro and trade the shortstop for a top pitching prospect that they have been coveting.

Though, it’s not out of the question that the Cubs could keep Castro, Russell, and Baez and find a way to make it work on the Major League roster.

No matter what scenario is casted, the Cubs’ organization improved immensely on Friday night.



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Tags: Chicago Cubs Starlin Castro

  • logan sanders

    Don’t sell Castro please

  • Andrew Lindstrom

    Make Castro and Bryant the outfielders, Russell at SS, Alcantra at 2nd, Baez at 3b. Trade Lake/Soler/Vogelbach for something. Castro tracks fly balls better than Lake make him LF, Bryant would make an interesting RF… then Almora or McKinney can play CF… then this years pick, Kyle Schwaber can stay at catcher

  • Tom Hunter

    Cubs have/will sold off all the good players for cash in a plunge to the bottom.
    Cub fans deserve better while this owner builds a Cubs hotel on Addison.

  • mefromme

    No way do I trade Castro. I think this year he’s finally comfortable. Rick Renteria I think has been a great influence on Castro and has taken the cuffs off of him and just let Castro be himself at the plate. Defensively, he’s getting better, I think he’d be a better 3rd basemen but even 2nd would be good for him. I would keep him, Russell and Baez and have your infield all set and and ready to dominate. Bryant has RF written all over him, the kid is a monster, let him have Right and let his bat take care of the rest. Almora and Soler I think one or both get moved in the next year or 2.