Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

starlin castro staringEarlier this week, unrelated to anything in particular, I wanted to write about Addison Russell’s future with the Chicago Cubs, positionally-speaking. Because Russell is a shortstop who looked damn good there this Spring, that conversation would necessarily require a simultaneous discussion of Starlin Castro.

But my ultimate point was: this is worth following and discussing, but it’s too early to actually make any decisions. There’s nothing forcing the issue just yet, and we’re about to get a whole lot more data on both players. That’s still where I land.

Literally as I was writing the piece, Bob Nightengale tweeted these:

Although the report adds the specificity of the Padres, it’s really nothing more than what we dealt with – ad nauseum – last Summer after the Cubs picked up Russell in trade: someone will have to go because too-many-cooks.

The Cubs immediately squashed that thinking by saying that all of their infield prospects, and Castro, could be accommodated. Further, the Cubs, you know, didn’t actually trade anyone. Perhaps they would have considered it, but the right deal never came along, and no decision was forced. Kind of like right now.

Today, Ken Rosenthal adds more specifics to Nightengale’s report, confirming that the Padres are looking for a shortstop, but noting that, while the two sides have talked, (1) it wasn’t recent, and (2) it was merely about “infielders.” Further, Rosenthal’s sources say some with the Padres are “less than enamored of Castro’s defense” – to which I offer a mild snort, considering the outfielders the Padres brought in this offseason because of their bats.

Rosenthal runs down some other possibilities for the Padres after mostly discarding Castro as an option. He does offer his guess that the Cubs will, at some point, “attempt to move [Castro] to clear the position for top prospect Addison Russell.”

I don’t really think there’s much here right now. While I’m sure the Cubs would consider moving anybody, and I’m also sure they may, at some point in the near future, have to consider a trade involving an infielder, there’s no rush, especially at this point at the start of the season. Further, the Padres’ bounty of prospects has been seriously depleted, and I’m not sure they’re all that eager to start dealing, for example, big league arms to try and make a fit.

Instead, this is something to stuff in your back pocket, and keep in your mind for much later this year – maybe even next offseason – if and when decisions are forced, or the Padres come up with some crazy offer.

And, more broadly, this mostly just goes back to what we discussed earlier in the week: yes, if everything goes well with these players, the Cubs would probably make the best use of their assets by trading an infielder. But let’s get there when we get there.

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