By Jacob Kornhauser on July 18, 2014
It's not often that franchises trade three-time All-Stars who are 24 years old. There are plenty of reasons for that. First of all, that's an extremely rare feat. Secondly, it makes no sense in pretty much any scenario. Here are five reasons why the Cubs shouldn't break that trend by trading star shortstop Starlin Castro despite their organizational depth at his position.
It's scary to think, but Castro is just coming into his own at the plate. He made his major league debut as a 20-year-old and is just now mastering a plate approach at the pro level. The Cubs would be foolish to ship away a shortstop who is just entering his prime as the team plans to be contending.
We've been hearing for years that Castro would grow into his power, and he finally has in 2014. In his All-Star worthy first half, the young shortstop put himself on pace for 25 home runs. It is rare you get those sort of power numbers out of a shortstop, so the Cubs clearly need to hold onto him.
Sure, the Cubs have Javier Baez and Addison Russell waiting in the minor leagues, but neither of them have played in a major league game. You simply can't ship off an All-Star caliber player just because you have quality players at the same position who are almost ready to move up. Get your best eight bats in the lineup in whatever way you can. If that means moving guys to different positions, so be it.
By getting rid of Castro instead of making room for the team's other middle infielders, they'd be losing a ton of lineup versatility. Castro can pretty much bat anywhere in the order, while Baez seems slated for either the four or five spot and Russell seems destined for the two-hole. The pieces seem to slide into place nicely by keeping Castro on the team.
With several prospects set to make an impact in 2015, the Cubs aren't far off from contention. They will need to make trades for pitching, but that should involve prospects such as Dan Vogelbach and even Javier Baez. Once they acquire an ace, the Cubs will be one step closer to contending. They can do that without giving up Castro, who should be a cornerstone of the organization for years to come.
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