In the wake of a big trade that gave the Chicago Cubs at least the appearance of a young shortstop surplus, it didn’t take long for the rest of the baseball world to start churning about possibly making a deal with the Cubs. First, it was a whole lot of speculation coming out of New York, connecting Castro to the Mets. Then, yesterday, it was a bit of speculation about the Nationals’ suddenly reported desire to pick up a young shortstop.
I don’t expect these (possibly spurious) connections to stop any time soon.
The Mets one, however, feels a little less spurious this morning after Andy Martino looked into the situation for the Daily News. Not being satisfied with the initial reaction around New York – Castro isn’t a fit because he’s “too casual” and doesn’t take enough walks (how freaking lazy are those narratives?) – Martino did some digging and asked around.
Not only did he come away with the impression that Castro is a “good kid” who may have been unfairly labeled (as so many players from Latin America are), but he also got the impression that Castro’s total offensive value was more than enough to overcome any kind of organizational ethos about walks or OBP or whatever. (And, as I pointed out on Monday, Castro’s OBP is still above league average.)
In other words, after asking questions and digging around, Martino appears to have gotten the sense that the Mets would be interested in picking up Castro – it’s not merely just speculation from the outside.
Whether that means much of anything right now is up for debate. I still think it’s unlikely that the Cubs would move Castro this month, instead preferring to see how the rest of the season shakes out, and reevaluate their approach heading into 2015. And, even if the Cubs were inclined to listen on Castro right now, the Mets might themselves prefer to see how things sort out over the course of this season before making a big move.
With the Cubs just about the turn the corner, and with the inherent unpredictability of prospects, I’ll confess that I have trouble getting excited about Castro rumors right now. I’m not saying I absolutely don’t want the Cubs to ever consider trading him, but the guy is 24, is still developing, and could be on the verge of adding significant power to his game. And he’s doing it in the big leagues.
But, given the situation and the possibility of a fit, I’m inclined to agree with Martino’s closing thought: it’s something to watch. Of course, if the Cubs ever do consider shopping Castro, there will probably be a huge number of teams to watch.