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.



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