Right up until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Chicago Cubs
shortstop second baseman Starlin Castro was a mainstay on the rumor mill, popping up repeatedly in the final week of July.
No trade was ultimately consummated involving Castro, who was subsequently bumped from his starting job, and now contributes at second base defensively and against lefties. Because of his brutally bad year at the plate, the 25-year-old Castro now comes attached to a dicey contract rather than an attractive one. Could that turn by next year? Sure. Castro has the youth and the talent. But when it came to making a trade in July, there simply wasn’t time.
That’s not going to change this month either, though August does come with the wrinkle of trade waivers. The full explanation for making trades in August is here, but the short version is, if the Cubs were to even consider trading Castro, they must first pass him through revocable trade waivers, wherein every team must essentially say, “Nah, we don’t want Castro for free,” before he becomes tradable.
What makes that an interesting wrinkle is whether any team out there would instead say, “Yeah, we’d take him.” And then, if so, what would the Cubs do? Surely they wouldn’t let him actually go for nothing – the trade waivers, again, are revocable – but could a trade be worked out with that team?
It’s all interesting to think about, even if nothing is likely to happen. But, according to Jon Heyman, it could be sorted out soon as Castro was placed on trade waivers this week.
The timing is, perhaps, the only notable part. Why did the Cubs wait to place him on waivers until later in the month? Were they hoping he might show something by now? Were they waiting for the standings to change (and thus the waiver priority)?
Remember: virtually all players make their way onto trade waivers at some point in August – because there’s no reason not to put them there, just in case – so the fact that Castro is now on waivers (again, other than the timing) is not necessarily interesting in isolation.
So, then, we’ll see what happens with respect to the waivers. If Castro clears, it’s a bit of a knock on his contract. If he doesn’t, it’ll be interesting to find out – if we find out – which team claimed him. And, then, obviously, it’ll be interesting to see what happens from there (my guess, frankly, is nothing).
It’s much more likely that the big questions involving Castro and his future with the Cubs will be addressed in the offseason.