The Chicago Cubs are finally in a place, prospect-wise, where they can pick and choose what prospects they will consider trading for a clear upgrade on the big league club. That’s why it’s no surprise that reports have indicated repeatedly that the Cubs will not trade Starlin Castro in any trade this offseason.

I’ve commented that, although Castro has certainly had an impressively meteoric rise this year, he is still a low-level prospect without a long, established track record of success. He has been the benefactor of a self-fulfilling hype machine, but I could use another year of success before I’m ready to pronounce him the second coming. An absolute bar on trading him, to me, seems hasty. Apparently I’m not alone.

The Cubs are definitely on the Tigers radar as they fit several of the requirements Detroit has in any Granderson deal. First of all, they have a handful of excellent prospects that are nearly major league ready and they would be the key to any deal. Also, the Cubs are not an AL team and especially not an AL Central team and Detroit is very reluctant to trade him in their own league or even more so in their own division. If you were Jim Hendry would you trade rising shortstop prospect Starlin Castro in a package to land Granderson?

Baseball Prospectus’ minor league expert Kevin Goldstein told me yesterday that he believes that Castro is the most over hyped prospect he has seen in a while. “Castro is a good prospect with excellent skills but for people to think he is on the verge of super stardom is ludicrous,” Goldstein said. “He has good athletic ability, a solid bat but limited power and to hear him compared by some observers to Hanley Ramirez is nuts.” Kap’s Corner.

Reports that the Cubs are expecting Castro to take over as the every day shortstop in mid-2010 seem optimistic at best. In Castro’s defense, his power is limited by the fact that he’s, you know, 19. Most scouts believe he has the frame to fill out and develop more power.

That said, if the Tigers will absolutely not discuss Granderson without Castro involved, the Cubs should at least listen. Am I saying the Cubs should necessarily trade Castro in a deal for Granderson? No. But neither should they necessarily exclude the idea. Castro may yet become a great major league regular. Granderson already is.

  • wv23

    Granderson is “great”?

  • Butcher

    I think we can do better than Granderson for Castro. He’s our best, most hyped prospect right now. You don’t trade him for a guy who hit .249 and needs to be platooned against LHP.

    • Ace

      As I said – I’m not advocating the trade. Just saying that it’s nuts (not my word, Baseball freaking Prospectus’s word) to suggest Castro should be absolutely untouchable in a deal like this.

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  • KB

    Granderson is not “great.” Granderson is an English-speaking Fukadome. Their stats are almost identical. (actually, Fuk’s were better last year).
    Is Fuk great?

    The Cubs are interested in Granderson for one reason only: he fits the Hendry/Gary Hughes “mold” to perfection: fast, athletic, speedy, low on-base percentage, can run, fancies himself a lead-off hitter despite lacking the single most important leadoff skill, good legs, nice fellow, pleasant in the clubhouse, fleet-footed, nice to the media, swift on the basepaths, swings at everything within a 10-foot radius of home plate.

    Hendry couldn’t have drawn up a more perfect prototype. Plus he’s from Chicago!

    • Ace

      Granderson plays top tier defense in center field, and excepting last year – a year that many folks say can be partially explained by a very atypical, and unlucky, BABIP – yes, he’s been great at the plate. 130ish OPS+ in the two season before last year; steals 20 bases; is still on the right side of 30; is signed relatively cheaply; and did I mention while playing excellent defense at one of the most important defensive positions (particularly if you’ve got, say, Alfonso Soriano flanking you in left)?

      How is that not “great”?

      • Arm

        Are you kidding? Castro is a proven , bonafie major leaguer with continous all star potential. Granderson is heading down the s curve and Castro is going up the s curve. Cubs would be stupid to trade Castro for Granderson without also getting a top notch you arm from AAA.

        • Brett

          Dates are important.

          • college_of_coaches

            Wow, someone forgot to recalibrate the ole time-machine. I hate what that happens.

            • college_of_coaches

              *when (always an important adverb in time travel).

    • Scarey

      KB, Granderson has had an above league average IsoD for his career, especially the last two years. He racked up 65 BB per year over the last 4 years. He can take a walk. Just because he’s fast doesn’t mean he has no plate discipline.

      The reason his numbers looked so bad last year was essentially luck. He had a very high line drive percentage and a very low BA for ball in play.

      Also keep in mind that he has a .484 career slugging % while playing home games in Detroit. He has a .516 career slugging % on away games. This guy is not a bad option at all.

  • Jacob

    I wouldn’t trade Castro for Granderson. I wouldn’t trade Brett Jackson either. I would for someone like Hanley Ramirez, but not Granderson. Thats just me though.

    • Ace

      I would trade Castro and a substantial portion of my man sack for Hanley Ramirez.

      • Jacob

        I would trade just about anyone for Hanley. Only excluding Zambrano and A-Ram.

  • KB

    Ace and Scarey:
    You both made some very good points. I would probably love Granderson if he played for us. I do think that Castro has all the “right moves” to become an all-star calibre SS, but that may not occur until 2015, so WTF.

    Go Curtis.

    • Ace

      Now you’re there, Kabes.