Let me start by saying that I was at the Cincy game where he drove in all of those runs before the hype train had left the station. We knew that we had to take the bad fielding throws with the good contact rate. His numbers were just too impressive to keep him in the minors. He was a younger version of Ryan Theriot and resulted in the trading/booting of both him and Fontenot that year. Just by mentioning that he is from the DR will let everyone know what I could be hinting at, but let me point out that he has declined every year since the year after his call up... It could be something else, but he's sporting a career low in BB% and he will surpass his average K totals this year. The recent bounce-back seemed promising, but I think we've all been exposed to what he is all about for too long (especially to care about his future with this team). There have been too many ball players that deserved the chance to play in a major league stadium, with a stronger work ethic (and better numbers) than Castro to justify his continual apathy (in my mind's eye).
I have been slowly writing off Starlin Castro in my mind for quite some time. He continues to make boneheaded plays (although they are less frequent) and has started to resemble the free-swinging version of Alfonso Soriano at the plate during this time period and it has resulted in the working of my last nerve. There was a lot of speculation that Theo & Co. had structured the contract extension to make him more attractive to potential trade partners (because of the farm system players that could take his place sooner than later). I can say that I totally buy that now, more so than just being dismissive about it previously. The mental lapses on top of the lack-of-just-getting-on-base has made more than just the regular haters come out of the woodwork now. I think that what Javier Baez brings to the table is worth more than what Starlin has to offer at this point. Even though Castro's errors are down this year, so is his Range Factor. Javier Baez has a higher Range Factor in AA than what Starlin Castro has ever had in his career. This is an important reference point for the FO to think about.
I think Javier Baez has the best chance of skipping AA in favor of the big leagues. I understand that the FO may feel like Kris Bryant may need more time to prove himself, of course it all comes down to what they want to do (so, he might have to linger in the minors a bit more). If they feel like they can get what they need out of moving Castro in a trade during the off season and the whole "change of scenery" argument can get it done, then that gives Baez one year of MLB under his belt before we are truly competitive (the "magic" 2015). Alcantara will be put on the 40-man to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, but I think he spends the majority of 2014 in AAA as Logan Watkins will be on a short leash and tries to prove himself (and that OBP) in a platoon with Barney (that <100 RC+ for Barney ain't cutting it as far as I'm concerned).
Last thought: the two highlighted Castro mental lapses were on the FOX network. Think about that for a sec. At least it was Chris Waltz and Tom Verducci commenting on it this time, rather than the regular douches they have (especially when we play the Cardinals). I also find it weird, the fact that he knows enough English to intelligently say "mental mistake" and I hope he knows what it means and quits using it freely in addressing the media.