Starlin Castro could be playing elsewhere next year if the rumors are true.
Castro is considered one of the key pieces of the Chicago Cubs going forward, and the administration led by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer cemented his status giving him a seven-year, $60 million extension last year. However, he had a down 2013 season where he wasn’t unable to hit as he was used to, and now there are several rumors surrounding a possible trade.
Current NL champions St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly looking to upgrade their infield and they want to replace Pete Kozma, who hasn’t been able to produce offensively as the team’s starting shortstop. Their primary target is Castro and although the Cardinals could give an impressive haul in return, the Cubs shouldn’t listen to any offers.
St. Louis aren’t the only team interested in Castro. The Pittsburgh Pirates are also reported to be interested in him, as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s clear that despite his bad 2013, the two-time All-Star still draws a lot of respect around the league.
If the Cubs want to make the right move, they should hang on to Castro as long as they can. The 24-year old showed some signs of bouncing back late in the season and he’s poised to have a huge comeback campaign next year. If he’s able to go back to hitting around the .290 mark with 15 HRs, then the Cubs will have above-average offense from a premium defensive position.
Castro might draw heavy interest and the Cubs are probably going to get a few inquiries about their starting shortstop, but if the organization wants to continue their rebuilding the right way, they should avoid any trade that includes him.