I love rumors. Is that really a surprise? But rumors are not like your children – you don’t love them all equally.
Among my least favorite rumors this year has been the pervasive, and repeated connection of Starlin Castro to the New York Mets after the Cubs acquired shortstop Addison Russell in the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel deal. With the Mets signing Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal (giving up the 15th overall draft pick in 2015 to do it) and with BP ranking Russell as the top prospect in the Cubs’ system – ahead, even, if Kris Bryant – those Castro-Mets rumors don’t seem likely to fade any time soon.
I’m not convinced that the Mets will pony up sufficient value for a deal to make sense (indeed, just this week Andy Martino writes that the Cubs and Mets have not been able to agree on Castro’s value), and I’m also leery about the Cubs parting with a guy (still so young) who has established himself at the big league level (on a team-friendly deal going forward). I still dig Javier Baez’s vast upside, and I believe in the believers of Addison Russell, but if the Cubs want to be competitive in 2015, it sure does seem a risky move to part with Castro right now. Especially when there is so much pitching available in other ways over the next 15 months.
Jed Hoyer spoke with Patrick Mooney about the Castro-Mets stuff, and he may not love those rumors all that much right now, either. While there may be something to it all at at a very superficial level – the Mets want Castro, the Mets have excellent young pitching, and the Cubs do consider anything – Hoyer basically told Mooney that, although the rumors pop up every time the Mets or Cubs do something, that doesn’t mean anything changes in terms of the sides getting together and speaking. Give it a read.
But, like the rumor or not, it’s probably not purely speculation. Indeed, at the GM Meetings, Jesse Rogers says he got the sense that the expectation among executives around the game is that Castro will be traded this offseason.
None of this is to say there is not a scenario where trading Castro isn’t the right move for the Cubs, maybe even to the Mets, and maybe even for the kinds of pitching that has been rumored. The Cubs can accommodate all of Castro, Baez, and Russell, but it’s possible it might not be in their competitive interests to do so. I’m open to the idea, even if I’m not presently convinced.
And since the rumors aren’t going away, there will be plenty of time to become convinced. Or not.