Chicago Cubs: Grading the offseason moves

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Oct 21, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro (13) celebrates with third baseman Kris Bryant (right) against New York Mets in game four of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Starlin Castro traded for Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan

Let’s be clear about something: the Chicago Cubs traded infielder Starlin Castro so they could afford to sign Ben Zobrist. Therefore, the return for Castro may not look so appealing.

On Dec. 8, the Chicago Cubs traded Castro to the New York Yankees in exchange for pitcher Adam Warren and infielder Brendan Ryan.

Grade: B-

This trade is a bit hard to predict because the verdict remains out on Starlin Castro. For starters, it is tough to see him leave because he was such an important part of this team for the last six seasons.

Castro had a roller coaster 2015. Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon chose to bench him at the beginning of August due to lack of performance. From his first game back after getting benched on August 7 to the end of the regular season, Castro hit .353/.373/.588 and recorded 23 RBIs and six home runs.

Castro is a high character player and I have a feeling he is going to prove the Cubs wrong and have a good season next year with the New York Yankees. However, he became expendable because of the depth that this team has in the middle infield.

Adam Warren is actually a solid addition for the Chicago Cubs. In four seasons splitting time between starter and reliever, Warren posted a 3.39 ERA and a 1.244 WHIP. He is particularly useful to the Chicago Cubs because of his versatility. If the back-end starters in the rotation struggle, then Warren can fill in effectively. Otherwise, he could use his starter background as a long reliever. In the playoffs last season, we saw how important it was to have relievers that could throw quality innings in the middle of games.

Brendan Ryan was the other player the Chicago Cubs received in this trade. He is versatile defensively but doesn’t really hit for a high average and doesn’t have good power either. However, he further solidifies an already deep and talented group of infielders.

The value of this trade really comes down to how well Castro plays next season with the Yankees. For now, I’m giving it a low B because it is tough to see a talented, young player with a team-friendly contract get moved. The move is easier to stomach because it did open up room for the Cubs to sign Ben Zobrist. Warren is a solid addition that a lot of people aren’t talking about. The grade of this trade could drastically increase or decrease depending on how things pan out with the players involved next season.

Next: Bullpen additions