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It should strike none of you as a surprise that the Chicago Cubs are telling other teams that, as we approach trade season, they’re willing to listen on any player on the team.

According to Bob Nightengale, who cites “two high-ranking team officials [who spoke] on condition of anonymity because of competitive reasons,” says the only player the Cubs aren’t listening to offers on is Jeff Samardzija. Candidly, I’m quite certain the Cubs would entertain offers for any player, including Samardzija. But because of Samardzija’s unique situation – is he a breakout, front-line starter, or a fluke who will fall off later in the year? – you can understand why he would be difficult to trade. After all, how much is “enough” for Samardzija? I wouldn’t want to be the one pulling the trigger on that trade.

As for the rest of the Cubs, as I said, we know they’re available. But the one that will turn the most heads if he’s actually, actively discussed, is 22-year-old All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro.

Nightengale says Castro “can be obtained for two impact prospects.” Obviously Nightengale left himself quite a bit of wiggle room there – what is an “impact” prospect, after all? I’m fairly certain Starlin Castro will not be traded for “two impact prospects.” There are very few two prospect sets in all of baseball for whom the Cubs would trade Castro, a young man who is the age of a prospect but is already succeeding in the bigs. And, even if the Cubs tracked down such a set – let’s pick one out of the air and say Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado of the Orioles – would the other team really trade two of the best prospects in all of baseball for Castro? Why would they? It’s a deal that doesn’t really make sense on either side.

I hate saying things definitively like “X will not happen,” because baseball, like life, is considerably more grey than that. So I want to be clear: the Cubs will consider trading Castro. They’ll listen if teams want to blow them away. And there’s a teeny, tiny chance that a trade could be put together. But I’m confident that it would be quite a bit more complicated than a simple, “here’s two great prospects, we’ll take Castro” kind of swap. The price on Castro would be exorbitant.

But, as we turn the calendar to June, it’s safe to say: buckle up.

UPDATE: As I tweeted, Gordon Wittenmyer says the Castro part isn’t true, and that the Cubs consider him a “core” piece for the future. Then again, what else would you expect them to say. Just two days ago, Theo Epstein said he’s never understood, or subscribed to, the concept of making players untouchable.

  • Wrigley11

    Seriously, you hit the nail on the head. Another package I could think of would be from Tampa, with something like Moore/Hellickson and Hak Ju Lee. Other than that kind of deal, which won’t happen, Castro isn’t going anywhere.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      I personally would not do that deal. First off love Moore, we can establish he’s a top end talent. He’s struggling right now but he young and gots the talent. Hellickson on the other I think can be a good starting pitcher but he will never be an ace, his ceiling to me is a good #2 or a really good #3. And Hak Ju Lee I am not high on as others are. He is extraordinary defensively and has good speed but I don’t think he will ever be a great hitter. He’s a slap hitter, no pop in his bat. Last year in AA he hit .190 avg, .272 OBP and .310 SLG. This year in AA again he is only hitting .227 avg, .297 OBP, and .289 SLG. His OPS is awful the last 2 years. He has digressed in the minors. Some people still have him highly ranked as a prospect but he will never have the hitting potential or impact of starlin. That Matt Garza trade doesnt look that bad anymore because Archer isn’t turning out to be the prospect people thought he was going to be either. I would need 2 sure fire top prospects.

      • Wrigley11

        I wouldn’t do that deal either. I was just saying that would be the starting point for any potential package, and Tampa trading Moore makes as much sense as Cubs trading Castro

  • Deez

    IMO from an organizational stand point, we are at the least 3-5 years away. It’s about the Cubs not any individual. If we get better as an organization by trading him, I’m definitely cool w/ it.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      And that’s why you always listen.

      But you also never forget that, in 3 to 5 years (I think that’s high), Castro will be 25 to 27 – entering his prime.

      • King Jeff

        Also, more than likely under a team friendly, long term deal at that point.

        • CubFan Paul

          im hoping he signs a team friendly 6 year deal this coming offseason

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            If it’s team-friendly, why not hope for 10 years?

            I’d like to see a six-year deal with four team options, if I had my druthers.

            • CubFan Paul

              well yea! same thing. A six year minimum at least tho. I want him under contract before his power emerges, so that his power is cheap for the club

            • hansman1982

              How about this – 20 year contract with 5 guaranteed, 10 team and 5 player options – if traded the entire contract becomes guaranteed

            • MoneyBoy

              Brett … absolutely … love the idea

      • Deez

        You’re right, but Castro “may not” pan out too! We thought Jerome Walton, Corey Patterson, Kerry Wood, and Mark Prior were headed towards success as well. I hate to talk about this because I feel like I’m putting “Ill JuJu” on our squad, but I just want management’s approach towards the organization to be totally open-minded.

        • JulioZuleta

          In a few weeks he’s going to be a two-time All-Star at age 22….he’s panned out.

          • MaxM1908

            Agreed. I’m not sure why people are still thinking the other shoe is going to drop on Castro. As far as I can tell, he’s still improving in the categories of fielding and power and staying a consistent contact hitter. He also runs the bases well. In my mind, the main tool that could take him up a notch would be if he could learn to take more walks and have better at-bats. I really don’t see him as someone in jeopardy of not panning out–the only question is how high will his value go?

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    The one team that I could almost imagine making a trade for Castro is Seattle.

    They have the pitching depth to land him, no doubt about that.  Any two of Hultzen, Walker, and Paxton would be enough to get the Cubs’ attention.

    And Seattle needs bats.  If they don’t think Nick Franklin can play SS in the majors, they could be looking for a young double play partner for Ackley.

    I still don’t think it is at all likely, but if there is a team with the prospects to make it happen and for whom it would make sense, I think that team is the Mariners.

    • King Jeff

      Do you think they would move Franklin? I read that they were pretty high on him, maybe even calling him up in July. I would love to do a deal with Seattle, they have some very enticing pitching talent.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Defensively, he appears to be limited to short and second.  I suppose he could go to left field, but that’s not ideal.  He’s not taking second away from Ackley, and there is reason to think he won’t be able to handle short in the majors.

        That makes him a utility guy for Seattle, or trade bait.  I think the Mariners should be seriously considering trading him.

        • King Jeff

          Okay, so that means we get Hultzen, Franklin, and Paxton in the deal, right? Sounds fair to me.

          • Patrick W.

            Ackley is no lock to stick at 2nd. He has been performing well beyond expectations defensively, to be sure, but he’s a natural OF/1B. Right now, Seattle is playing Alex Liddi (a natural 3rd baseman) in Left, Kyle Seager (a natural 2nd baseman) at 3rd, and Ackley at 2nd. If liddi pans out (big if, but so far he’s impressed) no reason to believe they don’t all just switch to their natural positions. Still leaves plenty of room for a SS.

            (changing my name to distinguish from the other Patrick in this thread)

            • Patrick G

              Ill change mine too, good call

    • EvenBetterNewV2.0

      That is what scares me Luke. They have the horses to make it happen. They are the only team imo that it would happen with, based on need and talent. It also wouldn’t have to be a team that is making a one year run. You would have control over Castro for some time. Even if you aren’t going to win this year, it would make sense if you think he is going to stick at SS. We would have to get 2 premium (premium x 10) arms, and hopefully another fringe top 100 player with upside in this. I am greedy though.

    • Patrick

      I like Seattle’s prospects and Arizonas. Now what about the Phillies? They are getting a lot older in the pitching staff and have NO hitting. Rollins at SS would cause a little concern, but do the Phillies have any good prospects? I like Worley and maybe 2-3 top prospects

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I have a tougher time putting together a compelling package from the Phillies unless I include Domonic Brown.

      • Cubs Dude

        Philly just gave Rollins a stupid centimental multi year contract. They would not be able to get rid of that..

  • Cubbie Blues

    It would take a Herschel Walker type deal to get Castro. That trade rebuilt the Cowboys almost by itself. Theo would be lucky to find someone that gullible.

  • KoyieHillsucks

    Unless you can land a major haul, MAJOR haul, it would be incredibly stupid to trade Castro, incredibly stupid. In fact I dont see much value in trading a 22 yr old short stop who has more hits than anyone in the NL since coming up. Even 2 impact prospect wouldn’t cut it, there is a reason they are called prospects.

  • King Jeff

    In ESPN’s franchise player draft, where writers and fans pick guys who the would build a team around; Castro went #9 for the writers, while Jeff Samardzija went #26. That’s some huge praise for Shark because I saw that some people were talking about picking him earlier, so it wasn’t just one guy with a Cubs boner. Neither has been picked by the fans yet, but I’m pretty sure most of the people who comment on ESPN are either drunk or have homer blinders locked on tight.

  • Ron Swanson

    Right. Of course they’ll listen on Castro because to do otherwise would be stupid. However, because Castro is pretty much exactly what they are trying to obtain, it’s tough to put together a reasonable scenario in which it would make sense.

    • Joe

      A Castro trade would make no sense. But there could be a team out there willing to spin the roulette wheel with their whole account!

  • Bash

    You hit it on the head Brett: If a team comes to you with an unbelievable offer for your best player, you have to consider it and probably take it. Castro may turn out to be a good player but what if you can get two good players in return, why wouldn’t you?

  • Tom

    I’ve been wondering what if a team comes around that has the cash to pick up Soriano as well? Say Soriano and Castro for Maples and a couple lower tier prospects? While I doubt a lot of teams would part with two front line prospects I could see them “paying” for Castro in a sense by picking up Sori’s contract (along with a top ten prospect).

    • King Jeff

      Maples is a Cubs prospect, not sure who you were referring to there, but I kind of think that including Soriano might diminish the return on a Castro deal. I don’t really want to see him traded, but if they did, I’d rather they get value for Castro instead of using it to cover Soriano’s $$$.

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        Or what if Seatle who is in serve need of hitting we completely ate soriano’s contract, so they get a free hitter with pop. Then we gave them starlin who is a young stud and dejesus who is solid and pretty good hitter who has a very affordable contract and maybe lahair for 2 of their top pitching prospects. They would be get a free sori for the next 2 and half years, Starlin, dejesus, and lahair. What you think?

        • Kyle

          I think if Theo Epstein even contemplated, briefly, such a blatantly lopsided and awful trade for the Cubs, I would personally figure out a way to become a billionaire just so I could buy the Cubs and fire him.

          Fortunately, he won’t.

          • K Rock

            ^ lol that was funny

        • Cubs Dude

          Hell NO. For their top 2 pitching prospects? Soriano’s contract is bad, but not that bad.

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            Are you kidding me? What kind of salary relief are you really going to get for Sori’s contract? What are you going to save tops $5 million dollars? Is 2 top pitching prospects not worth $5 million dollars and a guy you don’t even want on your team?!? Come on dude? And then also trading a rent a player in dejesus who is good but not part of your future? Then also Starlin who is under control for a only a couple more years and who going to start to get A LOT more expensive pretty soon here? And you’ll be paying Starlin a lot of money when this team still wont even be competitive. and lahair who is a journeyman throw in? I would do it in a heart beat. CUBS DUDE i dont think you know how good Seatles top pitching prospects are. Dont mean to be harsh but you need to look big picture here

            • Cubs Dude

              I know all about Seattle’s pitching prosects DUDE. Clearly from the Cubs other trades, money isn’t the issue (as the eat money constantly). I hate Soriano’s contract with passion, but I would not want ANY part of your proposed trade scenario DUDE. But maybe some of the other readers will love it………………

              • Serious Cubs Fan

                As we all know Castro is an amazing talent but lets not even talk about him be a possible hall of famer yet. That kind of 25-30 years away. There is a chance never hits for power and even if he does I think he will tops be 20-25 homer guys. He’s not great defensively. He has tools like a strong arm but he will prob never be an elite defensive SS. We are already talking about moving him to another position such as 3rd, OF, or maybe 2nd base. If needs to move to one of these positions his value takes a big hit. because he will never be a 30-40 homer guy so that really lowers his value in the OF and 3rd base and when you factor in that he is going to get paid soon coming up here, he will cost a lot of money when he’s on bad team that won’t even compete for a while. I love castro but we need to remember not to over value him just because he’s our guy. But you are entitled to your opinion just as I’m entitled with mine. I would do that trade for 2 top pitching prospects that have the stuff and potential to be aces and another solid player who will be cheaply under contract and will help when the cubs are going to start to compete again for starlin, soriano if we ate the whole contract, dejesus and lahair.

                • Serious Cubs Fan

                  Only thing is I don’t think Seatle would even take this deal, because they might want more

                  • Patrick W.

                    Seattle has 5 guys on their roster right now that might as well be Alfonso Soriano, three with upside.

                  • Serious Cubs Fan

                    I agree. This more of a pipe dream trade that I dont think would happen. Starlin is amazing, dejesus good player but not great by any means, and lahair and soriano and all whole ton of cash for soriano’s contract are just throw ins to try and sweeten the pot

                    • Carew

                      Maybe I’m not understanding it or just not reading it correctly (shifty eyes due to finals…) but are you suggesting trading Castro, LaHair, Soriano AND DeJesus for 2 guys? do you even want to be somewhat competitive?

                  • ptbnl

                    You would trade half the starting line up for 2 prospects in a single deal?

                    • Serious Cubs Fan

                      Hey ptbnl? Hows this roster competing this year? Yeah not to well. and yes i think I would. But have to emphasize we in addition to their top 2 pitching prospects I we would get a very solid prospect in return. Maybe not a top 100 prospect but a prospect on the level Matt Schzur. Some one who has huge upside and is already a solid rank prospect just not elite. But this would never happen from seatles side. I think Theo would do it though

                  • Kyle

                    You have moved up to the No. 1 spot on the list of people I wish were GMs of the St. Louis Cardinals.

                    • Serious Cubs Fan

                      Ok let me know a realistic trade that you think Theo and seatle would both agree on for starlin Kyle? Educate me plz. I’m no expert and I dont claim to be but you propose a trade possibility

                    • wilbur

                      Great comment …

                • Cubs Dude

                  OK, fair enough. As far as pitching prospects go I think there is a lot of injury risk, even though the Seattle guys are studs. I also think DeJesus may have decent value. Granted, the $45 mill of salary relief would be great of Sori’s contract, but I would rather have Castro, Lahair, Dejesus.

                • hansman1982

                  so we have half this post wanting to trade Castro for 2 of Seattle’s top pitching prospects and then you throw in a free Soriano, LaHair AND DeJesus?

                  Also, the only people who talk about Castro moving off short are the ones who want to replace him with someone as defensively gifted. The only problem Castro has with his defense is his extreme range which means he will have a lot more close (and rushed) plays leading to poor throws. He has already made the adjustment on his throwing. Then again you might just be looking at fielding percentage…

                • Nathan

                  you said all the negatives about castro, how bout the fact that he a 22 year old who has the second most hits in baseball since last year, hits for high average, still has power potential, and could very well be younger than the prospects you trade for. Also when people talk about him being a HOF, obviously that is a long ways away, but if he hits like he has the first few years in the big leagues, he could very well end his career with 3,000 plus hits which would make him a HOF, you dont trade that away for “pitching prospects”, Cubs have done so many stupid trades in the past, lets try to refrain from doing it again. Keep on to the guys that are actually gonna make this team better in the future

        • Joe

          What the hell are you talking about? Get off the sauce, quickly!

        • koyiehillsucks

          YOU DO NOT trade a soon to be 2 time All Star 22 year old SS for two top pitching prospects. You might consider 2 cant miss pitching prospects because one will certainly miss. To add Soriano and De Jesus into that deal would just be insane.

          Sorry but you dont trade a 22 year old star for top prospects, maybe for some can’t miss prospects but let’s remember they are prospects for a reason!

    • Cub Style

      If you’re trading your best player, you need to get the best offer possible back talent wise. Not some money dump.

  • Scott

    Everyone but Samardzija? The player who hasn’t done much until this year? I think this guy needs better sources…

    • King Jeff

      I don’t think that they should trade Samardzija at this point either, but to say that they won’t listen to offers for him is ridiculous. I think this guys just throwing darts.

      • Deez

        More like slingin’ SH… to see what sticks!

    • Deez

      I’ll cosign w/ you on that! As much as I like Samardzija, what has he really done in totality for the last 4 years!?

      • King Jeff

        The last four years are meaning less and less every good starts he has. I think the only reason the Cubs would be reluctant to trade him is because they value him more than other teams do.

  • Cheryl

    In a week or two we should have a better idea of where Theo and Company are going. The draft will be history and they can concentrate on the major league club. It seems to me that Theo once said during the winter meetings that groundwork was being laid for some possible deals.

  • Nathan

    I still hold my ground and say that Starlin Castro should not be traded. He is the face of the Cubs and is only 22 years of age. To me, even if the Cubs are not contenders for 3-5 years, Castro will be in his prime (25-27) making the all-star team every year. Pieces should be built around him not for him. I also am not convinced that it will be too terribly long until the Cubs are competing inside of the NL Central. They have an extremely low payroll, and can sign some key players in their prime like Hamels, Shields, Sanchez, Hamilton, Ethier, and so on. Obviously, I am not suggesting all of those will be signed by the Cubs, but its not farfetched to say two of of those players could be wearing Cubbie blue as soon as next year, along with guys like Rizzo and Jackson possibly making impacts from out of the Minors

    • koyiehillsucks

      Agree, unless you get a can’t refuse type of deal(where another young all star is involved)… I mean he is one of the top 3-5 players under 25 years. You dont trade those players when you want to build for the future and much less when you are the Chicago Cubs and have the money to keep him.

  • John

    Has anyone heard anything about Dillon Maples? I dont even think hes pitching down in extended spring training. Is he injured?

    • Kyle

      Elbow issues. Cubs expect him to be ready for short-season ball.

  • Kyle

    There are precisely two prospects in baseball that would turn my head in a Castro deal: Trout and Harper.

    Everyone else, not good enough. It’s the mystery box all over again.

    “Starlin Castro is a 22-year-old All-Star with HOFers all over his comp-by-age lists, but a prospect could be anything. A prospect could turn into a 22-year-old All-Star with HOFers all over his comp-by-age list!”

    • Cubs Dude

      I agree completely, but the Bundy/Machado thing at least makes you think. I think the Cubs still would need to receive more stud pitching to do it though.

    • Myles

      I started a post that said the exact same thing, Kyle. Nice post (Trout and Harper). And out of the two, I prefer Trout.

    • EvenBetterNewV2.0

      Kyle you overvalue Castro then. His defense is a liability, and yes he gets hits, but doesn’t get on base at a high clip. If the M’s throw out 2 top pitchers, or the Orioles dangled Bundy and Machado, I guarentee we make that trade.

      • Kyle

        Nope, you are both severely undervaluing Castro and overvaluing the prospects.

        His defense is not nearly the liability people think it is. It’s always interesting to see how people’s opinions lag the data. Some metrics have him among the best defensive SS’s in baseball this year. And it seems to have gone quietly unnoticed that the errors are almost completely gone after the early season case of the yips.

        He’s on pace for a 4.5 WAR season. I borrowed this from NSBB, but only five SS’s in the past 30 years have had a 4-WAR season by the age of 22.

        If Starlin Castro were in AAA right now, he’d be a no-brainer top-3 prospect in all of baseball.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Indeed, although it’s only 1/3rd of a way into the season, Castro’s fielding projects to save about 12 runs fielding this year.  That’s worth one victory over a season.  People worry too much about the errors, and they just do not see all of the outs Castro creates on which other SS’s are not even making plays of any sort.

        • MaxM1908

          I agree that the “Castro sucks at fielding” sentiment is getting old. The guy is 22 for crying out loud. To summarize what I believe I’ve read on this site before: he tracks, if not surpasses, some of the great defensive SS at age 22 — and many of those were playing in the minors at that age.

      • Joe

        His defense is a liabilty? Are you kidding me? He get’s to balls and makes plays very few can. He just needs to make better decisions and that will come with time.

        • Evenbetternewsv2.0

          Yes I know that any cubs fan that has concerns about his ability to stay at shortstop is an idiot but call me an idiot until he can make basic plays I have concerns like many others. Yes he can make that 1 out of 20 play few can but he had trouble on those other 19.

    • djriz

      What if Miami came along and offered Giancarlo Stanton for Castro?

      • Kyle

        That would definitely catch my eye.

        Given our organizational lack of elite corner hitters, I think I’d have to take that one.

        • Chad

          My thoughts are that a SS that probably projects (my opinion) as a .315 hitter, 90 RBI, 15 HR, 30 SB and plays plus defense (I think Castro will be a plus defender) is more valuable and harder to find than a power hitting corner outfielder. Now Stanton might hit 40-50 Homeruns for the next ten years….but I think the Castro’s of the world are harder to come by.

    • koyiehillsucks

      Thank you!
      Castro is a Top 3-5 player under 25 years old, unless you get someone of equal value you don’t trade him for prospects who may or may not pan out.

      Plus he is quickly becoming the face of the cubs why replace him.

  • Cubs Dude

    I never understood why everyone on every team isn’t ALWAYS available. The whole thing is stupid. If someone is going to give their 10 best prosects up for 1 mlb player than it’s a deal, no matter who the player is… I love Castro and what he has done at this age and position is historic, but the Baltimore deal would be tempting. And I completely understand why Baltimore does that deal. They haven’t been relevant forever, and with Castro they have a shot at the AL east…

  • Kyle

    Absolutely, positive not to Bundy and Machado for Castro. A pitcher who has five years before he’s out of the injury nexus, and a catcher who has solid but not great numbers in the low minors?

    Two fantastic prospects, but in sum they don’t remotely add up to one Starlin Castro.

    • Myles

      Not sure why you think Machado is a catcher, but ok…

      • Kyle

        D’oh, I got him mixed up with some of the other young M catchers (Montero and Mesoraco).

        Point remains: He’s nowhere near good enough to warrant a Castro trade.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Even if I agreed (meh), that’s precisely my point – it is virtually impossible to put together a deal that makes sense.

      • Webb

        One scenario I can imagine, since Hank Stienbrener struggles to make sense mostly anyways, is a Jeter ligament tear that makes the Yankees desperate for an impact replacement. If they offer all three top pitching prospects that might tempt “Thed”. I still wouldn’t take it. Until someone has success in the majors you never know what you’re getting with a prospect, which is why Castro is so absurdly valueable.

        • Kyle

          Not even close, honestly. The Yankees’ top three pitching prospects aren’t anything special.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Also, they won’t let a SS with actual range play for the Yankees until 5 years after Jeter retires, so people can go on believing that Cap’n Clutch was more peripatetic than Ozzie Smith…..

  • Cubs Dude

    I think there are very few young players in the league that have a legit future hall of fame career, with Castro being one of them. Obivously, he has things to work on. But do you really think Theo would want to be responsible for trading him with his upside? Wait until he fills out… It is waaaaay to risky. With that said I do like the Baltimore package if you do pull the trigger.

    • MaxM1908

      Man, can anyone imagine how awesome Castro would be in the steroids era of baseball?

  • Andy

    Does any front office ever “not” listen to proposals on anyone within their system? You’d have to be foolish not to at least listen to all possibilities. While the players are people with lives and families, the front office is dealing with a business. I cannot imagine any front office that wouldn’t legitimately move any of their players, no matter how great, for the right exchange. In reality, the only “unavailables” are those which it’s almost 100% unlikely the trade partner could/would cough up the players needed to make it happen.

  • CubsFan5391

    Castro should NOT even be an option. He is 22 and still growing as a player. He is cheap and cost effective. NO trade involving “impact” prospects is worth what has panned out and is already working. IMO why not keep Starlin as our 2 hitter and build from there?

  • LWeb23

    Starlin for Harper and Rendon. Or should I add Strasburg too?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Until we know Rendon is healthy and won’t be affected long term, I’d be cautious.

      • Kyle

        I’d do Harper straight up without thinking about it.

        • LWeb23

          That’s what I was thinking, I was just kidding around and dreaming big.

    • Cub Style

      I’d rather have Trout over Harper.

    • Serious Cubs Fan

      Do you think Nationals would really trade Harper and another top prospect for Harper? Seriously? Harper is said to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. He’s going to be a better player then starlin in my opinion, because he will hit for more power. Both are going to be really good but your asking the nationals to give up another top prospect? No way they would ever even offer this. Unrealistic trade

      • Cubs Dude

        I’d much rather have trout than harper. But I get your point.

        • Kyle

          That’s a really interesting debate to me.

          Trout is more well-rounded and probably has a much lower floor. He’s kind of become the trendy, baseball hipster pick.

          But Harper’s more than a full year younger. The difference between 19 and 20 is a huge one in terms of development, and because of that I think Harper’s upside just has a whole other gear. A 19-year-old who can hold his own offensively in the major leagues is just almost unheard of. The only question is whether his hit tool will develop from good to great.

          Trout is a safe bet to be an All-Star for a long, long time. Harper might not quite be that good, but he also might be an inner-circle HOFer and the best hitter of his generation. The upside is just unlimited.

          • Serious Cubs Fan

            Dude seriously stop even mentioning Hall of fame! He’s 19! He could be a bust for all we know. He has potential to be a good player but dont mention him for possible hall of fame in the future. That 30 years away. He’s done almost nothing on the major league level

            • Kyle

              Umm, no? I won’t stop mentioning the HOF.

              We need some sort of way of parlance for describing guys who are better than “mere” all-stars. I guess I could say “7+ WAR player in his prime” or something, but this way is either.

              These sorts of once-a-decade superstars come along, and they almost never turn out to be anything less than awesome. The last three players to come out with this sort of pedigree and ability were Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Darryl Strawberry.

              • Serious Cubs Fan

                bad website i know but there is truth to this list.

                Everyone thought these guys had potential to be hall of famers too. Trout and Harper have never made an all-star team. Have never played a full season yet. Dont be quick to use the word hall of fame. Talk to me after they have made multiple allstar games and then you can then you can revisit the word hall of fame.

                http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1197239-mlb-draft-2012-power-ranking-50-worst-draft-busts-of-all-time

                • Kyle

                  There is not a single player on that list who is comparable to Bryce Harper, I’m afraid. It’s cool that you googled “MLB draft busts” and all, but it misses the point.

                  Very few of the players listed in that link were the caliber of prospect that Harper is.

                  Harper wasn’t just a No. 1 overall pick, he was a consensus best talent to come along in many years.

                  The list of guys who come with Harper’s scouting reports and pedigree are *very* short. Excluding pitchers, who we all know can get hurt at any time and ruin their arms, there have really only been three players to enter the draft with Harper’s pedigree: Strawberry, Griffey and Rodriguez.

                  Two of those three are headed to the HOF, and the other had an All-Star career.

                  • Serious Cubs Fan

                    Wow bud you are pretty naive. You completely miss the point. They are way to young to be talking about the most prestigious honor you can get in baseball, which is the hall of fame. But whatever i really dont care anymore, wont fight you on its your opinion. Your the type of guy who probably watches the little league world series and picks out the kids that you think will be hall of famers

                    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                      With the talent either have, why wouldn’t that be their ceiling? I think most would say that without hesitation. Why is that naive? We are talking about the best talent to be in MLB since Griffey Jr. He could be a bust. Yes, that is possible. You know how he becomes a bust in every single persons’ eyes who pays attention to the game beyond just the Majors? If he doesn’t become the HOF’er everyone expects him to be if he fulfills his talent. How many people would get that statement at 19? I wish we had him on our team. I must have missed him in the LLWS. But, I was a fan of the Sports Illustrated cover at 16.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Harper vs. Trout could be Byrd vs. Johnson.  I.e., no really “wrong” answer, and count yourself extremely lucky to have either guy playing for you.

            • Cub Style

              Marlon Byrd vs Reed Johnson? Reed all the way because he’s SCRAPPY!

              :P

      • Nathan

        The point is, they shouldnt trade castro for anything less than harper or trout. Meaning a trade should not and will not happen

  • LWeb23

    Also, this is probably over-speculating, but after the workout at Wrigley yesterday I wonder if drafting Carlos Correa would make any difference in the Cubs’ willingness to trade Castro.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The 2012 draft will have absolutely no impact on any roster decisions the Cubs make this season.

  • Myles
    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Really, really interesting stuff.

    • Webb

      That completely anihilated my afternoon productivity. Awesome article.

    • Ogyu

      Wow. I hope the FO reads this before the draft. ;-P

  • DocPeterWimsey

    I’ve used the example before, but suppose that you read about a 23-year old SS batting over 0.300 in AAA with a bit of pop and projection for a bit more, and with good range & a strong arm albeit still a slightly spastic glove.  Would that make a good centerpiece in a Matt Garza trade?  I’d say “yes.”

    That guy is a year old than Castro and a level below where Castro has been for 2+ seasons.  People who are somehow giving up on him might just as well give up on everyone under 21 who’s not in MLB.

  • Cheryl

    Are there any Kansa City prospects or newer major leaguers that would make any sense in a deal and not just for Castro. I’m wondering about some of our other players that would be tradable.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The Royals will be sellers, not buyers.  They had expected to compete this year with their good young players, but they’ve been very unlucky.  So, they probably will try to dump Franceour and a couple of the other vets.  (They actually do not have all that many veterans to deal, but expect them to be marketed.)

      • Serious Cubs Fan

        haha its sad but since when have the royals not been sellers. But maybe in the next couple years with the young talent they’ll be buyers

        • Cheryl

          The only one that I remember from their 2011 first round draft was Bubba Starling. Don’t know much about any of their other players.

  • Dumpgobbler

    I’d absolutely deal Castro if I get the right pieces back. The Braves, Seattle, Boston, among otheres could be potential fits.

  • Kyle

    “Ok let me know a realistic trade that you think Theo and seatle would both agree on for starlin ”

    There’s no match to be had there.

    Montero + one of their elite pitching prospects isn’t enough to make it worth it for the Cubs, who don’t really have a huge need for Montero.

    Montero + two of their elite pitching prospects is probably more than Seattle is willing to offer.

    And a deal involving just pitching prospects isn’t going to be good enough, not even if it was Walker Hultzen and Paxton all in the same deal. TINSTAAP applies. The Yankees found out this year what happens when you trade a young potential star position player for a pitching prospect.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      If Pineda comes back from the injury well, I don’t think the Yankees will be complaining long term.

      Too bad he got hit with a shoulder injury; that makes recovery somewhat less likely.

      • Kyle

        Yeah, unfortunately for them, not only did he hurt his arm, he had the most devastating arm injury a pitcher can have, short of it detaching entirely.

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    Some of you are grossly overvaluing and exaggerating who and what Castro is thus far. The HOF tag is thrown around very prematurely in terms of this player. Unlike Kerry or Prior Castro is talented he doesn’t have once in a lifetime tools. There’s one hell of a lot of work and luck involved. In the case the two incredible talents they didn’t have luck on their side. Castro has a lot, a tremendous amount of work and dedication to be shown before people start calling him HOF.

    And I think BN is probably getting the straight scoop on this as they are not as high on Starlin as those trowing the label out. As you indicted Brett the devil is in the definition of impact prospects. It’s hard to know what that means and what the front office would covet. I tend to believe that would be impact arm and impact bat with more than one tool.

    • Kyle

      Read it more carefully.

      I’m the only one who brought up HOFers in reference to Castro, and I did *not* say he was destined to be a HOFer.

      What I said was that his comp list was littered with HOFers. And that is an objective fact. When you come up with the players who have the most similar stat lines at the same age as Castro, roughly half of them are already in the Hall of Fame.

      His hit-tool is most definitely “once in a lifetime.” How many SS’s in your lifetime have had that level of contact ability at that young of an age?

      • djriz

        No, Castro is not a hall of famer…yet. No one said he was. But to simplify Kyle’s point, Castro has had a ‘Hall of Fame’ start to his career.

        I just don’t think the Front Office is going to spend a bunch of time worrying about trading Castro. If they are blown away, they may.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    My gosh, there is probably a 0.1% chance that Castro is traded.
    The strange thing about the article is saying Samardzija is unavailable.

    A new GM should just say “Everyone is available” from Day 1 on the job and say it over and over and over any time the issues comes up.

    • TWC

      Didn’t Theo/Jed pretty much do this?  Like, on day one?

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        Not if they are saying Samardzija is unavailable

        • TWC

          They didn’t.  Bob Nightengale said that “two high-ranking team officials” did.  Theo and Jed maintained from day one that there’s always a price for everyone.

  • gritsngravy

    Castro will not be traded. Thed is not going to trade the face of the team for anyone unless it benefits the Cubs so much that the other team would be morons to make the trade. Basicly there is no way a trade would work out well for either party.

  • AD

    Trading a sure thing in Starlin Castro is very unlikely. However, this could be a great opportunity for the Cubs. The Cubs would have to get two impact pitchers and a bat in return to make a trade of Castro worthwhile. Even then, injuries are a huge possibility for pitching prospects. Theo and Company would have to be overwhelmed to even consider trading their best player.

    • Joe

      Again, what is an “impact” player? Isn’t Castro an impact player? I said Campana was an impact player and I was scorned. To me, an impact player for a team is a player that gets the fans blood flowing.(something good is gonna happen here. I could care less about stats)

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