Should Chicago Cubs Make Starlin Castro Available For Trade?

Starlin Castro Chicago Cubs

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a very disappointing season thus far for Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro.

He currently owns a .228/.264/.318 triple-slash and those numbers are, simply put, terrible. His three home runs, 24 RBIs and six steals are not very impressive either. Unfortunately, his struggles at the plate have carried over to the field. Defensively, Castro has not improved this season as he has 14 errors, which is tied for the most in MLB with Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Even with this horrendous start to the season, Castro is still a player with a ton of value. He is only 23-years old, has had past success and plays a premium position at shortstop. Also, he recently signed a long-term deal that makes him affordable for many years. Being in a slump for three months does not change his value in the eyes of front office personnel. They realize that baseball is a long season, and small sample sizes do not mean anything.

Ever since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over the baseball operations for the Cubs, I wondered how well Castro fit in to their plans. His free-swinging mentality does not fit in with the normal approach that Epstein and Hoyer like, as they usually target players who work the count and take walks.

That is certainly not Castro, who is a guy with an elite ability to make contact at the plate. Yes, he does need to become more selective, but you do not want to hold back his natural abilities.

Because of his lack of plate discipline and obvious trade value, should the Cubs consider making Castro available for trade? The team is currently in the middle of a rebuild and could use Castro to acquire a ton of young assets. Obviously their asking price would be high, but if a team was to offer them a mess of legitimate young talent, should the Cubs consider trading their young star? I say absolutely.

The Cubs have one of the top minor league systems in baseball. Most of their talent is position players, including shortstops Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara, who are both considered top 100 prospects in all of baseball. That being said, they are severely lacking in the minor league pitching department, especially at the higher levels.

Any trade involving Castro would have to involve the Cubs receiving a few highly-ranked young arms. Obviously, you never know what will happen with prospects, but having top guys like Baez and Alcantara waiting in the wings at shortstop makes Castro a little bit more expendable.

There is a price for everyone, especially for a team that is rebuilding. I think the Cubs should let teams know that they would consider trading Castro and see where it ends up. If they do not receive a package of young talent that they like, there’s no harm done and they move on with Castro at shortstop.

No matter what happens, I think his early season struggles are just a bump in the road for Castro. I strongly believe that he will turn things around and have a long and successful career. The guy is too talented to struggle the way that he is. Will his long career be in Chicago? We will just have to wait and see.

Daniel is a Chicago Cubs writer for Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer and add him to your network on Google.

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  • Farva55

    I don’t agree that the Cubs should trade Castro or entertain the thought, but I can appreciate the argument assuming you’re a Cubs fan who knows the team more than I do (Red Sox fan). I’d be more than happy to take him on the bo-sox.

    • SportsGenius705

      Strongly disagree with the author. The Cubs should get rid of their coaching staff. Clearly they can’t continue to work with young talent. Look at Rizzo too? Inconsistent. Bring in a coaching staff that knows how to teach and lets see what they can do.

      • Farva55

        Well, I’m not a Cubs fan so I can’t talk about it’s coaching staff too much. All I know is that trading a guy like Castro becuase of 2 months of struggling seems like it’s a little pre-mature.

        • SportsGenius705

          The Cubs can’t develop young talent. They haven’t done it for decades.

      • Brett R

        Definitely agree. The Cubs have always struggled to develop young talent and Sveum etc. hasn’t proven they can do it either. Definitely worrisome.

  • Brett R

    You know…I once thought Castro was as untouchable as they get. However, after watching him hit sitting right behind home plate at the angels game…he absolutely worries me. His hands are incredibly loud all of a sudden…always moving…his load is not a clean load and the open stance tells me he’s trying to hit 30 homers. I have zero idea what the Cubs are doing with him but he could be a guy to trade on the high and get a monster package back…

  • Brett R

    I wonder with the Cubs signing that Venezuelan kid if the Cubs will look at trading him…

  • johnlh

    Trading Castro should not even be a subject worth writing about. With a 7 year big contract it would be impossible to trade him to anyone unless the Cubs are willing to eat a 7 year contract and all its obligations. That just will not happen. I would put the odds on this happening this year or next at round 900-1