Chicago Cubs analysis: A Starlin Castro trade shouldn’t be an inevitability

3 of 5

Oct 7, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (left) and infielder Javier Baez (right) celebrate in the clubhouse after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Wild Card playoff baseball game at PNC Park. The Cubs won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It takes a special player to handle a demotion in stride and not become an unneeded locker room distraction. It takes even higher character to rebound from said demotion and put up outstanding numbers the last 1/3 of the season. Starlin Castro did both.

On August 7, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon decided to bench Starlin Castro indefinitely.

"I did not give him any promises on how he is going to be utilized, other than ‘just stay ready off the bench. I didn’t want to give him any kind of false promises whatsoever. He could be playing (Saturday). I’m not sure yet. I want to see how it plays today, but I wanted to be upfront with him and just let him know it’s not just a day off. —-Quote obtained by Chicago Tribune writer Paul Sullivan"

This was a tough blow for the 25-year-old former All-Star to absorb. Although it undoubtedly damaged his ego, he took the demotion in stride and said all the right things to the media.

"I feel a little frustrated, especially yesterday when they tell me I’m not going to play for I don’t know when. In the beginning, I take it like really personal, but after that I think about it and you can’t put those guys in the bench. They’re really hot right now, and I understand."

–Quote obtained by the Associated Press, content published by Fox Sports

In every conversation with reporters, Castro stressed that he would do whatever was best for the team.

"They know what they’re doing. They know it’s better for me and it’s better for other players. Whatever decision they make, I’m in."

–Quote obtained by Chicago Tribune reporter Paul Skrbina

Starlin Castro is a high character player. The perseverance he showed last season proves this. Character and chemistry are hard to quantify but are qualities that every winning team has. 

It is tough to replace a team-first player whose chemistry with his teammates is strong. The Cubs need to think long and hard before replacing Castro and bringing a new face into this tight-knit clubhouse.

Next: Age and Money