The good news is the Chicago Cubs are finally taking the development of positional prospects very seriously.

The bad news is it could prevent the Cubs from getting a player of need.

Even though you’ve read suggestions that the Cubs should trade shortstop prospect Starling Castro to the Tigers for outfielder Curtis Granderson, it simply is not going to happen. The Cubs appear to have a bona fide blue-chip prospect at a position other than pitcher, and they are not trading him for Granderson or anybody else. Blogs.

Now, I would not go so far as to say that we’ve suggested the Cubs trade Starlin Castro for Curtis Granderson.

HOWEVA, the idea that the Cubs should unequivocally not consider such a trade is simply crazy to me. Castro is a great prospect – but he’s 19, he’s only had moderately high level (AA) success for part of one season, and even then, it wasn’t like he was tearing the cover off the ball. He had a .743 OPS last year at AA Tennessee, and a .731 OPS at High A Daytona.

I get a lot of crap for being what people perceive as “anti-Castro.” But that simply isn’t the case. Despite those not so great OPS numbers, I recognize that the numbers are downright spectacular given Castro’s age, position, and the level of competition. I’m just tired of riding the wave of the next great prospect that never was.

This iteration of the Chicago Cubs has a particularly strong two-year window for winning it all. After that, yes, they could have restocked and the window could be extended (perhaps indefinitely, given the payroll). But if Jim Hendry successfully unloads Milton Bradley, and a gaping hole opens up in center field, I dare anyone to name a better option for the Cubs than Curtis Granderson that has been realistically mentioned.

That’s worth considering – Castro or no Castro.

(And Happy Thanksgiving, you turkeys. See what I do for you? Providing up to the moment Chicago Cubs news, rumors, and anlaysis, even on Thanksgiving.)

  • http://cubchatroom joe grippo

    I hope he’s not another can’t lose / five tool player like Felix Pie.

    • Ace

      The unfortunate irony with Pie is that he was damn good in the second half with the Orioles this year. Sigh.

  • VerizonWireless

    Oh you mean the same Felix Pie who seems like he finally turned it on for the Orioles? The same Pie who hit .265 and still continued to play fantastic defense? The Cubs whiffed big time with him. He’s 24 for god’s sake! He will be a star and all the Cub fans that wanted him out the door will kick themselves in the head.

  • Kevin Gallo

    The cubs have enough prospects (for once), that they should be able to get Granderson. Without trading their top ones like Castro or Vitters. If the Tiger want a SS they have Lee and some of the OF Talent. In my option we should trade Big Z, before you all start saying “He has a no Trade clause”. He said he would go to New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. I am sure we can get some good prospects for him. I believe that Brandon Webb will be on the trading block soon, so that the pitcher I would like the Cubs to get. He is a sinkerball pitcher and would do great at wrigley.

    • Ace

      I hope you’re right, Kevin, that the Cubs can get a Granderson type without dealing the Castros and Vitters (and Cashners) of the system. That would be the ideal outcome.

      As for Webb, his recent injury concerns would give me pause before seeking out a series of trades that effectively replaces Zambrano with Webb.

      • Kevin Gallo

        I agree the recent injury maybe a problem buy, I just dont see Zambrano as a true #1. He is not someone that if you need a win to stop a losing streak, you can rely on. I would also take roy Oswalt, but i dont know know if the astro would trade him with in the division. I just think Zambrano maybe more valuable as a trading chip because of his unpredictability. But he does have great stuff, I just wish he had his head on straight. So i think the return for him maybe pretty good.

  • Mark

    Agreed. Everyone is ultimately on the trading block.

    • Ace

      Bingo. No reason to shut the door before you hear what the knocker has to say.

  • Greg Tellis

    I was a pitcher in the Pac-10(8 back then). I drove from San Francisco to the Arizona Fall League and saw Starlin homer off a very live arm. Then he blew me away when he got FOOLED on a breaking ball and still hit the ball to the 385 sign in left center. At nineteen he hasn’t even grown into his body. Cub fans, stick with this kid.

    • Ace

      Thanks for the impressions, Greg. That kind of potential is very exciting – I guess some of us are just going to have to get over our cynicism when it comes to Cubs positional prospects.