The Mariners could make an interesting trading partner for the Cubs

The Mariners could make an interesting trading partner for the Cubs
Danny Hultzen

The Seattle Mariners once looked like an up and coming team.  Their saber-friendly GM, Jack Zdurencik led them to a surprise 85-77 finish after winning just 61 games the year before.  The Mariners became the darlings of the sabermetric community.

But things have sort of stalled since then.  The Mariners have not won more than 75 games since Zdurencik's splashy debut.  There are talks that Zdurencik will get an extension but patience is still wearing thin.  He just fired his 3rd manager.  Is this the year for Seattle to make a move to a more win-now mode?

The Mariners have what the Cubs lack, which is young front of the rotation pitchers like top prospect Taijuan Walker and two good LHP prospects in Danny Hultzen and James Paxton, though I was just reminded Hultzen had shoulder surgery.  The Mariners, meanwhile, are perpetually looking for bats.

The Cubs aren't exactly an offensive juggernaut, but they do have some depth at a few positions, notably in the infield where they have Starlin Castro, Mike Olt, Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Christian Villanueva. They also have a trio of left-handed hitting outfielders in Nate Schierholtz, Bryan Bogusevic, and Ryan Sweeney.

One scout told me recently, "Getting Castro cheap for 7 years is about worth 2-3 top shelf prospects alone".  The Mariners certainly have that to offer -- and at a position of need for the Cubs.

Might there be a match somewhere?

The Mariners particularly struggled to get offense from the SS position, where Brendan Ryan hit less than .200.  They also have a young LH bat that has fallen out of favor in Dustin Ackley, but he's a talented hitter with good plate discipline that could benefit from a change of scenery -- especially to a more-hitter friendly ballpark.

Its just speculation at this point, but it's not hard to think of potential matchups between the two teams

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  • fb_avatar

    Walker and Hultzen for Castro is almost as good as Martinez and Miller, and has the added benefit that he doesn't get to haunt us in Seattle.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Seattle would regret it. Way too many seagulls to distract him there.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Hultzen's shoulder surgery would scare me -- but Walker and Paxton would be nice. I've always liked Ackley too. Maybe he needs to get out of Safeco and get a fresh start.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That works, too. Seems like one of those deals I'd take in a heartbeat, so it probably won't happen. But, if we can get a package built around Taijuan Walker, I'm very, very happy with it. I'd take Walker over either of the two the Cardinals are reportedly dangling.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah, I don't think Seattle would even consider a deal like that. It's not like they are one Starln Castro away from contending. Not worth it for them to deal their two top prospects to become a little less irrelevant.

  • I've been interested in Ackley; he rebounded nicely in 2nd half. Her seems like a Theo/Jed guy, possesses some positional flexibility, as well.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Does seem like their top of guy and they don't have much in the way of young LH bats in the pipeline.

  • Great call. I've mulled that over a little bit and they're a team I can see adding Starlin and improving. They have some nice pieces even though Hultzen's health scares me off of him. He should be there by now but he can definitely pitch. I like Paxton and love Walker, obviously.

    I can see them liking Schierholtz as well. He's a guy I'd like to move and maybe bring in Granderson the more I mull it over (which is a lot lately thanks to The Den!).

    I want to keep Starlin. Don't really care what the package is, even if it is outrageous. Not ready to give up on a guy who's still on track to sniff 3,000 hits before he's 25. At least wait until Renteria gets a hold of him and see what happens first.

  • Mariners certainly have needs in their lineup, but I can't see them having any interest in Castro. They are pretty well set with Brad Miller at shortstop, he played really well in August and September, and should only get better.

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    Miller overperformed last year and he is 33rd in value for al major league shortstops, meaning that at least three back-ups are better.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Miller looks legit enough though that they are going to give him a shot. He posted a .925 OPS in the minors as a 2nd round pick, basically hitting at every level, including a 1.000 OPS at Tacoma. There is no reason to move him from SS.

    If I am Seattle, I might part with Walker in exchange for Javy Baez, and we should think about that one

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Millers tools across the board score out to be average. Although I do like him more then most. I won't trade for Castro but I have never been a Castro fan. I think he has value but I don't think it is with the Cubs

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I don't understand what you mean by "I think he has value, but I don't think it is with the Cubs."

    In my opinion, I think that is an outlandish statement to make. In his four seasons with the organization, he has shown the ability to be amongst the elite at his position. He's considered one of the premier young building-blocks in the entire league. Just because he had a poor season doesn't mean that his value is lessened in Chicago.

    The kid is still only 23-years-old and he has been surrounded by a losing franchise ever since the first day he has been up. Starlin is the best talent on the roster, and the organization expects to build around him. Once the pieces are in place (the youth infusion plus whatever money the front office allocates to bringing in ACTUAL talented ball-players as opposed to stop-gap fillers), I expect Starlin Castro to strive even more.

    I never understood why people have given up on him. I don't care that his OBP and contact % has gone down each of the past four seasons, or that his K% has gone up each of the past three seasons. What I care about is the growth Starlin has made since he has been in the league. Even though he occasionally has a mental gaffe, he still competes and has made great strides in the field. His fielding percentage has gone up each year that he has been in the league, and his error totals have consistently dropped each of the past three years. He is heading in the right direction in that regard.

    Consider 2013 to be Starlin's "sophomore slump." Next year, he'll have a fresh start with a new manager who can communicate with Starlin more effectively and have a much more positive influence on his game than Sveum did.

    Starlin is an integral part of this organization's future going forward, and there aren't many players in the league who have done what he has done thus far at such a young age.

    I look forward to seeing Starlin in a Cubs uniform in the years going forward, because he sure as heck will be a vital contributor to this young franchise.

    I don't mean to sound as if I am calling you out specifically, but I for one am tired of people just giving up on him and wanting to deal him because of an off season or because they want Baez (who is still a prospect) to replace him.

    Castro is suited for the top of the lineup, and I expect him to be at the top of the batting order with Albert Almora one day (hopefully). Provide Starlin (and the rest of the lineup) with a mix of successful veterans and talented youngsters, and I think this team can ... and will ... go very far.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Why do people keep saying this? Starlin has NEVER shown himself to be among the elite at his position. What he showed was that at age 21 he was a very good contact hitter, people then projected that out and thought he would add power which would then make him very valuable....that hasn't happened. Castro has never been higher than a 3 WAR player at his position. The best season of his career (3.2 WAR) landed him 11th among shortstops. Castro's hype was about what he was going to be in a few years, now its been a few years and not only is he not better, he's actually gotten worse.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    What I find most interesting is how ridiculous his BABIP numbers are. From 2010-2012, his BABIP sat at .334, which is the highest amongst all qualified shortstops. However, in 2013, his slump year, it sat at .290, clearly his unusual self due to a good amount of bad luck.

    Again, Castro is still only 23-years-old. He still has all the potential in the world to be a perennial 20-30 player. At the least a 15-30 player.

    His defense has consistently improved, and his offense will find its way back. Not sure why Sveum tinkered with something that wasn't broken. I fully expect a bounce-back season next year, and many more all-star appearances to come.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I certainly agree. Castro is 23 and under control for 6 more years. He can do everything you want in a player at a premium position. He hits,runs, fields, throws and may even be a 15 hr a year. I don't understand why so many here want him traded. I look foward to him being a Cub and working with a new staff.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Elite and Primeir are not words I would use for Castro. Above average are the words I would use. The players I would use those words for are players like Harper, Tulo, Trout, and Cabrera. Castro is not on that level. I think some of you are still eating up the hype from old guard. He has a year and a Half of a very good. And 2 years of pretty good to poor. The funny thing is I never heard the words elite or primeir about Castro when he was called up. I am hearing those words about Baez.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Elite at his respective position. Not only does he have the potential, but he has PROVEN that he is amongst the best shortstops in the game - and he's not even in his prime yet.

    Not elite as in overall in the game. He still has a ways to go to get to that level.

    And so does Bryce Harper for that matter. I expected great things out of him this year, and didn't get it. He's an uber-talent - hopefully he reaches elite status.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    OK let's go with the numbers then in Castro's 1st 2 seasons his numbers go like this 283 games with a line of .304/343/422 which is very good. The last 2 seasons look like this .264/292/.390 not so good and his last season you can try and blame the FO all you want but they weren't in the Batter's box with him. His trend with experience is going down. What that tell me is lack of ability to make adjustments.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    I don't get how a player who is 23 is being tagged as above average. Are you high !!!!

  • In reply to scarter:

    No I am a trained scout that has the numbers to back it up.

  • In reply to scarter:

    Who the hell ever told you above average was bad. Some of my favorite players were above average players. Will Clark, Mark Grace and a few others would be classified as above average.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Well I have other scouts and players who played who say he is a very talented player.

  • In reply to scarter:

    I never said he wasn't talented I said he wasn't the right fit. He makes excellent contact but I would take Baez over Castro in a New York minute.

  • In reply to scarter:

    I respect your knowledge and your opinion on baez but until baez does something at the major league level then I go with castro.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I'll ask this again and then I will sit down and wait for my answer. What skills does Starlin Castro offer that would be considered elite? Now remember, elite is a very, very strong superlative. It doesn't mean above average, it doesn't mean better than most, it means a tool that grades out as an 80.

    In what category is Starlin Castro an 80? Now 70 is considered plus-plus. But you said elite.

    Here are my grades (floor/ceiling) and I will discount a horrible 2013 as an anomaly, though there is no guarantee that five years from now we maybe looking at 2013 as a mean year rather than an exception - too many unknowns with last season.

    Hit - 60/70
    Power - 50/55
    Plate Discipline - 50/55
    Baserunning - 50/60
    Defense - 50/60

    I just don't see an elite player. If you are defining "elite" as "elite for his position by comparison" I still don't see it. There are better shortstops now and even better shortstops charging hard through the minors of other teams and even the Cubs have a SS who has a chance to show elite tools in Baez.

    I do think he is the best SS in the division, so I guess that would make him elite in the NL Central. But I also think Baez will be far better.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    As aforementioned in my post above, I meant elite in regards to his position. I didn't mean overall. I apologize for the confusion.

    Nonetheless, you can NOT tell me that going forward there are five shortstops in the league RIGHT NOW that are better than Castro.

    I'll say Tulo (presuming health), and that's about it.

    You can try to make arguments for players like Segura, Desmond, Andrus, even Asdrubal Cabrera, but I will STILL take Castro over those players.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    We were probably typing at the same time.

    As far as shortstops (and I am assuming we are talking about skills alone and not considering contracts or age or potential, just mano y mano and based on 2014 alone) I would take these players over Castro: Troy Tulowitzki, Xander Boegarts, Jose Reyes, Elvis Andrus, Jhonny Peralta (though it's close), Stephen Drew (close again), Jurickson Profar (who is a SS playing out of position at 2B) and Ian Desmond.

    Castro could be better than all of them except the first four (and Profar), but he could potentially be worse than all of them, though I have left potential out of the equation.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I also thought Segura is a second baseman, so I did not include him. But he was far superior to Castro last season.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    His skill is he can baseball not some numbers that a scout guess, and misses on a player.

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    In reply to scarter:

    I am not quite sure what you mean, sorry.

  • In reply to scarter:

    I mean some players like castro or a certain CF in the cubs system who was drafted high don't always have the tools that jump out at you but the eye test shows you this kid can play and have a lot of room to grow.

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    In reply to scarter:

    Well, if you are talking about how he "looks" as an athletic specimen and how he translates his athleticism to his skill set, I don't think the eye test is conclusive enough.

    Some of the tools are there, I give you that: plate coverage, speed, range, throwing arm, bat speed.

    But the "eye test", a term I dislike, doesn't ever tell you how those skills translate to real games. If has has the tools, why isn't he leveraging them to present better statistics? Further, I think his occasional lapses in concentration would hurt him in any eye test, though those lapses are something I think is greatly exaggerated because nobody plays at 100% concentration on every pitch.

  • In reply to scarter:

    The problem I have is that castro had a bad year and now people are trying to point out all his warts. If he did not have a bad year people would not bring his name up in trades or tell everyone he is not that good or how many shortstops are better than him.

  • In reply to scarter:

    But the thing is they are and his numbers are much better then his stats. The 60 equals out to being close to .290 then 245 so that helps support you argument. And those numbers make him a good SS. And it may come down to you have to trade a prospect to make room. What would be worse Trading Castro and having him hit his ceiling or Baez being traded and he hits his ceiling.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Jean Segura splits:

    Pre-ASB: .325/.363/.487/.850 with 54 runs 11 HR and 36 RBI
    Post-ASB: .241/.268/.315/.583 with 20 runs 1 HR and 13 RBI

    Pitchers adjusted to his terrific first half. He clearly struggled pretty badly in the second half, and even though he is 23-years-old, you can not prematurely proclaim him better than Castro after one season - excuse me, one HALF of a season.

    Jurickson Profar? He was up for half of a season, and he didn't even impress. I understand he hit at the bottom of the order, but he hit .234/.308/.336/.644. Does he have talent/potential? Sure. But you cannot proclaim him better than a two-time all-star WITHOUT having him play even a full season. We're talking about results, not potential.

    Stephen Drew? Jhonny Peralta? Come on. These guys are nothing but supporting cast players. Castro is a building block. Those two have their own respective problems to take care of. There is absolutely no way they should even be in the discussion.

    Ian Desmond has been terrific the past two seasons, and Jose Reyes (when healthy) is definitely better than Castro. Again, Tulo and Reyes (forgot about him) are better than Castro. After that, at least in my opinion, there's no one who is definitively better than him. CERTAINLY not as successful (excluding players like Jeter and Rollins).

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I agree with everything you said. For some people potential only goes one way, what I mean by that is castro is graded by what happened last year and he has no more potential or his potential does not count but a lot of shortstops are better than castro based on potential in some peoples eyes.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I think Drew and Peralta should be in the discussion. Why? They both just had better seasons than our guy! Did you know that a WAR of -0.6 (per bbref) is below replacement level?

    It's like you're a defense attorney who's already entering a not guilty plea with your man still holding the smoking gun. Hard to call a guy elite coming off such a stinker and its even harder to put him above guys that just thoroughly outplayed him in 2013. He may have more talent than Drew and Peralta but "better" is in the numbers. Guess what? Talent is a prerequisite for being a major leaguer.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    All of those players I mentioned were statistically better than Castro. I left potential out of it (except Profar) You are banking on Castro rebounding. But in four years at the professional level he has had a season and a half where he has played to that potential and two and a half seasons where he has not.

    Again Segura plays 2B and you left out his SB numbers.

    Peralta, Drew, Desmond all graded out better than Castro. As far as being supporting players, I do not even know what that means. Are you saying Castro can carry a team? He cannot. Few players can. Going by last year, I'd say Trout, Cabrera, Ortiz can probably will themselves to do that in any situation. Other players like Puig, Adam Jones and Allen Craig flashed that ability at times. Even A-Rod, whom I abhor, flashed that ability once he returned. Starlin Castro is not in the company of any of those players. Of course, by calling those other shortstops supporting players, I'm making the assumption that you are saying Castro is not a supporting player. In my opinion, he is exactly that, a supporting player.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Do you consider half of the SS's in the league to be elite? He's shown he can be good. Elite is top 5 in all of baseball. Starlin's good.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    Again, for the fifteenth time, elite at his position - NOT in all of baseball.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    He is not elite. That would require him to be the top 5 in the position. Which he is not.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    He isn't even top 5 in NL. Tulo, Ramirez, Simmons, Crawford, Desmonds, Rollins, and you can make a case for Cabrera and Segura to be better too. I haven't even gotten into the AL yet.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I feel like that's what I said there, Chief. I think you're throwing 'elite' around a little too liberally. Doesn't 'elite' mean best of the best? Is that really what you think he is?

    Just curious...when he was having his "elite" seasons with the bat, was the glove elite? Is there a 8 WAR season hiding in there somewhere?

    He's not elite. Say it.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Def not elite.

    Great post Gallo. Hes def not even top in the NL

    Give me Tulo, Hanley, Simmons, and Desmond and its not even close.

    Probably take Cabrera, Segura, and Didi even though unproven.

    Then you have old man Rollins and Bloomquest and Brandon Crawford is a pretty darn good defender.

  • Hultzen shoulder keep him off-limits. You'd be looking at Paxton, as Walker isn't going anywhere.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    Then neither is Starlin Castro.

  • Prospect for prospect trades almost never happen. Every team tends to value their own guys more than others, so a deal involving one of the Cubs big 4 for one of the Mariners big 3 seems unlikely. Its something I would be willing to explore, but like I said, it just doesn't happen.

    The Mariners could use offense at the MLB level, but its not like the Cubs really have anyone outside of Castro or Rizzo that would be able to bring back one of their big 3. I can't see the Cubs dealing Rizzo since they have no ready replacement and Smoak wouldn't be an adequate replacement in return. So really, unless Castro is the centerpiece, I don't see a match.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    It'd most likely be Castro they'd have to trade. Mariners strike me as a team thats ready to start moving forward.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    And I'm not a fan of trading Castro for prospects. That sets back the rebuild. The Cubs having three guys at the MLB level that are established and young enough that they will be in their prime when the window opens. If you deal one of them, you need to get a young MLB player in return, not a prospect. Dealing Castro for a young pitcher is fine. But it needs to be a young MLB pitcher.

  • The best part of this is the Cubs can use the Cardinals to drive up the price on Castro.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Little competition/bidding war never hurts

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with that 100%. If the Cardinals see the Mariners making a run at Castro, then maybe they will add one of their other good pitching prospects. It's always good to have a couple of teams try to outbid for a player they want.

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    In reply to Steve Flores:

    I have to ask this again as well. Why wouldn't the Cardinals just sign Jhonny Peralta instead of giving up all of those young players? It makes too much sense to do that would be about the only argument I could come up with.

  • The new manager has to talk to Castro in ST to judge for himself
    if he has what it takes

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    ST?
    This conversation will happen before next week.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    ST?
    This conversation needs to happen within a week.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    The new manager really will have little to no bearing on roster decisions, especially trades of players.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    I think that Rick Renteria probably already has a good grasp on what Starlin Castro can and cannot do. I do agree however, that he has the right to see if Castro's skill sets could be enhanced in Renteria's overall scheme. Maybe he sees Castro as a #6 or #7 hitter for instance instead of a #1, #2 or #3.

  • If the Cubs could pry Taijuan Walker and James Paxton out of Seattle, that would be absolutely huge.

    Of course, I'd much rather hold on to Castro in the hopes of him rejuvenating the promise that he showed prior to last season. I think he signed pretty cheaply, and hopefully the Cubs get to capitalize on that.

  • I agree, John. I think you'd be looking at something built around Ackley & Paxton for Castro. As much as I like Walker, he's in that A Bradley class of off-limits guys.

    Ackley is exactly the type of "table setter" KG was referencing in his piece from a couple weeks back. He'd be a nice complement to the core of RH power hitters coming up through the system.

    Paxton was a real hot item 2yrs ago. I think there is increasing talk of him ending up in the pen; I'd have to dig around a bit on that.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    I can see the Cubs saying "no Walker, no Castro" imo. The interesting thing to think about is how you weight an A-level prospect against a good young player on a bargain contract. Yeah the prospect might have a higher ceiling but also he has yet to do anything at the major league level like a Castro has.

    So the question would be who has the higher value? Technically, you'd go Castro because he's young and already making things happen. But some people put potential above all else, so they might have Walker valued higher.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Don't think there's a debate here. If they don't give Walker, we don't give Castro. Frustration shouldn't lead us to undervalue him.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. A year or two ago we wouldn't even be talking about trading Castro. Hopefully he has a nice bounce-back year and this can go back in recession. Or maybe not, because it seems like as long as Baez is in the minors playing SS there will be "trade Castro" talk no matter how good he plays.

    Luckily it hasn't gotten crazy here like it has other sites.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    If Castro were on a vaguely sane development cycle he gets his first taste of the majors last year or this year and is considered a prospect to rival Jurickson Profar. But because he developed in the majors and was clearly struggling to adapt to Sveum we're ready to accept whatever scraps someone may be nice enough to give us.

    Some perspective would be good here. He's a legit big league shortstop with an uncanny ability to barrel up a baseball. That's pretty much equal to a legit top of the order starter.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    This^

    People tend to forget, but the Cubs system isn't very deep in shortstops itself. We don't know if Baez can stick there, but he'd probably be at least okay, but after that, we're screwed. ho would be next? Barney?

    Let's stick to the plan, which means building around our young hitters.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I'm pretty sure perspective and Castro-haters don't go hand-in-hand :).

    And before I get blasted. Just because someone might hypothetically entertain things like what Castro would bring in a trade(I even do it) or maybe even want to trade him because he has high value and could bring back a nice haul does not make that person a "Castro-hater"....

    We all know what those people are like...Castro could hit .323, 25hr and 5 errors in 2014 and they'll still want him gone because he has "mental lapses"

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Give us .280 w .340 obp 15 home runs and 15 errors and I think the majority of us here would love him!

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    It would be nice if we could really say that, but we can't. If "ifs and buts were candies and nuts we'd all have cavities" or however the saying goes.

    Whose to say that coming up early hasn't stunted his growth as a player and that he has already peaked? It wouldn't be the first time that a player brought up too early fizzled quickly.

    On the flip side, Castro was strongest at the onset of his major league career. If you want to compare that player to Profar, I give you that. But you can't compare this player to Profar with the caveat that he was promoted too soon.

    I know others will disagree. And I may be dead wrong. But I think if you are going to compare two players it should be at similar stages of their careers, not similar ages with completely different circumstances.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Walker isn't in A ball, he's knocking on the door of the majors. He really should already be up, but the Mariners didn't want to start his clock in a lost season.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Knocking on the door and having 3+ years of success are not in the same neighborhood. That's the comparison I was going for, I apologize if I didn't make that clear enough. I'm not as good at being intricate with my points as others here.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Got it, I definitely agree with this. I have been entirely against trading Castro all along, and won't waiver. We wouldn't even be talking about it if he had a normal season in '13, so it seems ridiculous that after one down season the rumors fly. You don't trade a young core piece signed ridiculously team friendly deal during a rebuild. Those are exactly the kinds of things you are trying to find, not give up.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Agreed, Like Mike said. If Castro had come up on a normal development cycle we'd be talking about him just breaking in and in same ilk as the Profars and Bradleys of the world.

    Not to mention the fact that young SS under team control for years are a luxury around the league. We just saw this past offseason where teams wouldn't trade their young SS even for a potential star in Justin Upton. You just don't see teams letting these kind of guys go and the ones that do usually regret it. I bet the Angels would love Segura back. And so on.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Its not only that Castro had an "off year". It also has to be considered that many believe Baez is a legit SS, but whats even more pressing is the lack of a an ace anywhere around this team.

    1. Doesn't look like we are going to find one thru Free Agency

    2. Doesn't look like we are going to give up the necessary pieces to get a pre arbitration legit ace

    so the next thing is to get a budding one and your not getting a potential ace locked up for a good amount of years for something that doesn't have value. Castro has a lot of value, and that's where this talk is coming from.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    A player who hasn't started a single game in his major league career is not a budding ace, sorry.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Correction, three games. Sorry, I just don't see it ever happening. He's going to be a good player, but Starlin already is one. If we're going to stop tearing down and start building, we need to put stakes in the ground, not pull up the ones we just put in.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Your 100% right, its not going to happen. Not a chance the Mariners are going to do the deal. The point of the exercise is that a good FO is going to explore any and every option including scenarios or possibilities of improving the team.

    Hopefully in the long run, its one of those deals that Cubs fans are excited about not doing as Castro blossoms into whom all think he can be.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Walker is going to be a real good pitcher in this league. Coming into the year, he was compared on the level of Fernadez and Gerrit Cole.

    I am not saying its a slam dunk that the FO rather have a pitcher like that over Castro, but I am pretty confident they would strongly consider it esp if Ackley and Paxton are being thrown in.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I correct myself, actually he did get called up last year, so definitely not an A-level prospect

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I meant "A-level" prospect as in "top tier" or "top ranked". Again sorry for not being clearer in that response :)

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    hahah makes more sense now.

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    I don't think its smart to trade Castro until after this upcoming season. I have a feeling Rent will have a huge impact on him. I also think the Mariners are going big this offseason. I think Jacoby ends up there, and maybe Brandon Phillips.

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    This pains me to say, but if the Mariners dangled Walker, Paxton, and Ackley as a starting point for Castro i'd AT LEAST have to listen and see where it goes. Am no way in favor of trading to Castro to hardly anyone, but it'll be hard to turn down two potential studs and a solid everyday player that can play 2B and CF.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    LOL, thankfully your not in the FO

    If they dangle those 3 players just for Castro, Jedstein makes that deal and is laughing his a$$ off. Not only does he get himself 3 cheap players, 2 potential TOR arms and his type of offensive hitter.

    I have absolutely no basis for this, but IMO I think Jedstein regrets giving Castro that deal ( even though its more then a fair deal) I think he doesn't like being attached to him for so long.

    He would love to turn 1 core piece into 1.5 core pieces in Walker and Ackley ( hes a 1/2 but potential to be more) and Paxton as a complete wild card.

    These are the type of deals jedstein dreams about

  • If Ackley comes to the Cubs and hits, a middle infield tandem of him and Baez is a terrifying thought for opposing pitchers. Plus the Cubs can always throw in Villanueva or Alcantara to get another player out of Seattle. Castro and Villanueva for Walker, Paxton, Ackley, and Tyler Marlette would be an absolute coup.

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    In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    Jedstein and company wouldn't be instantly be favorites for executive of the year if they pulled that one off.

  • Definitely think the fit is there but is there a concern in the front office that trading a guy after signing a team friendly extension could hurt their negotiating with current and future players?

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    Anyone see where Ervin Santana looking for 100mil and Ricky Nolasco 80mil? Both on 5yr deals? That makes Shark and the rest of our starters look like bargains.

    I doubt either will get anywhere near that much for those amount of years but IF this really is the going rate for mid-rotation starters then I could see some clubs looking at a Shark or Travis Wood as cheaper alternatives if willing to pony up the prospects.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    So nice to see you posting again, Marcel.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Trying to get back in the swing of things. Had my first child a few weeks ago so that's been a rollercoaster ride.

    Don't worry, guys. I'll make sure he's a Cubs fan.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Congratulations, that's wonderful.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Agreed - congratulations! And try to snatch some sleep now & again when you get a chance.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to drkazmd65:

    Thanks guys.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Marcel... That's *wonderful* news. Hearty congrats to you and your wife!! Hope all's well with your family.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Congrats Marcel! It's great to see ya back posting again and hope you continue.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Cub fan? I hope he has a better century.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Very true statement.

    However, the question becomes, what are the Cubs left with? Obviously, pitchers would come in, but as prospects, most are still experiments.

    They are the two best starters we have.

    I think maybe mid-season they could come into the conversation, but I would be pretty surprised to see them dealt over the winter. If, as you say, the prices are going up, it just means we are going to pay a higher rate no matter how you slice it to fill the rotation holes left.

    We could go with 5 young guns in 2015 in the starter role, but does anyone really want to do that unless they are 5 knockout prospects?

    Even then, would you feel comfortable with that in 2015?

    I'm not taking a position at all, just presenting another side to the issue.

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    In reply to givejonadollar:

    Very good points. I honestly wouldn't mind going with a young gun rotation for 2014. But that would hinge on landing Tanaka and improvement from an Arrieta. I could see a staff of Tanaka, Jackson, Arrieta, Cabrera/Grimm, and Rusin or whoever the Cubs get for Shark/Wood. But I could understand why others might not want to watch the growing pains that would come with a rotation like that.

    But as you said, no matter what happens money is going to be spent. And even though 2014 is still a developmental year, trading Shark and Wood in the same offseason makes it appear like a tank.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    I don't think either is worth that much.There is better options out t
    here than those two. I'd much rather sign a free agent like Kazmir then trade our young talent.

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    I know what your scout says, but I can't imagine Seattle fans would be too happy giving up Hultzen and Walker for a guy who posted a negative WAR last season. Zdurencik would be essentially betting his job on Castro bouncing back better than ever next year.

    Plus, with the way teams tend to over-value their own guys, it just seems so unlikely.

    Hopefully I'm pleasantly surprised.

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    Wouldn't Dan Vogelbach potentially be a fit in Seattle? Smoak has not been what they were hoping for and they are already looking at options at first. If Vogelbach can play well enough at first and spot DH, wouldn't he be something they'd consider as part of a package? What do you think the Cubs could get for Vogelbach? What if they threw in Castro?

  • In reply to Ted Schneider:

    Dan does not have much value right now. Wait 2/3 years and his value will be high. Right now it is low and the Cubs don't want to sell low. They want to sell high.

  • In reply to Ted Schneider:

    Vogelbach would make sense for them, but make no mistake -- Castro would be the prize, not the throw in.

  • Just want to say to everyone that I'm big Castro fan. He's a huge talent. I mentioned what the scout said about his value for purposes of the article, but here is the rest of it,

    "On talent and ceiling, I like Castro better than Profar, but Profar might reach a higher level compared to Starlin. I think Castro is a better athlete as well, game needs to slow down for him at times, which I tend to see as his crutch. He needs to mature, slow the game down, which is easier said than done. Sky is the limit for Castro he should be a 7 hitter with 5, maybe 6 power and the ability to play SS..if he played the political two step w/ coaches, actually learn from his mistakes, grow as a player, he could be a superstar in Hanley Ramirez type mold."

    "His problem is pitch recognition and pitch selection, aggressive is not a concern, but he fails to learn from his mistakes, which is a HUGE. Can he take coaching and implement it into production, learn, take on the traits you want from a leader...he has the game to do so. God gave him a rare set of skills to be a true game changer at the top of the order, only 6 inches b/w the ears holds him back right now."

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You read this: "but he fails to learn from his mistakes, which is a HUGE" and you see exactly how the relationship with Sveum collapsed. And you can see why they wanted a guy who can talk with him in his native language with a reputation of teaching and motivating young players. And it's not to threaten him with AAA if he doesn't get his act together, but to make him feel safe and appreciated so the raw talent explodes.

    I'm not against trading him this offseason as I still think Javy Baez is the shortstop long term. But if you trade him, you're trading him as if he just got off his 200 hit season and has Hanley Ramirez upside. In the likely event no one pays that price, you happily start him at shortstop in March and hope he hits the ceiling for the next time you try to trade an excellent young talent.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Let's just say Baez does push Castro off SS eventually. Does that negate it being possible that Castro could remain a Cub? Heard a few times that Castro could be an elite 2B if he ever had to make the switch. Why not just play him there if you can't get fair value for him instead of entertaining deals for him every offseason? Just giving a different point of view. I don't think Baez being the SS has to end Starlin's career as a Cub the next day.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    So, here's the issue. Bryant is right there, too, and Almora for all the world looks like he's coming. Even if his hitting never develops, he may be the best defensive center fielder in the game, so he's going to play. Now, you've got 3 right handed bats there. Rizzo is a lefty at first. It looks, for now, like Castillo is the choice behind the plate. That leaves 3 spots left -- the corners and second base. You can slide Castro over to second -- I think it would help him slow the game down defensively.

    But, at this point, you've now locked yourself in to getting two lefties for the corners. And that's assuming that obscene-ceiling Soler doesn't make it.

    Essentially: one of the righties has to go. And I think, at the end of the day, it's going to be either Baez or Castro who does it.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Good points. Hadn't thought of it like that. I don't think the team needs to be R-L-R-L all the way down the line-up but there does need to be some shred of balance. I agree with that. Somebody has to go. And that's fine. That's why you build a strong farm. To keep the players you need and trade the ones you don't need for more that you do.

    But why does it have to be one of the up-the-middle players or Castro specifically? Those are the ones I keep. It's the guys on the corners i'd look to do a "my top prospect who hits RH for your top prospect who hits LH" type deal. IE. Kris Bryant for Colin Moran, just to paint a picture.

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    In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    That's fair, though I wouldn't trade Bryant for the world. The one prospect the Cubs have drafted who has just shattered every expectation (except Gallo's) is Kris Bryant. I think he's going to be an absolute middle of the order monster for a long time. The only question I have with him is whether he's going to be Evan Longoria or Miguel Cabrera.

    However, something along the lines of a Soler for Polanco flip could make a lot of sense for both teams. That particular flip would also let you move Castro to third -- where the arm plays and the double clutch doesn't hurt as much -- Bryant to right, and lets someone like Arismendy Alcantara (not necessarily him, but a lefty or switch hitting top of the order type) take second.

    But, it is worth bringing up something Gallo did the other day on why you trade Castro this off-season: the shortstop market is very thin, and the best guy on it, Stephen Drew, got a qualifying offer. So, Castro's nice cost-controlled contract could lead teams to overpay in order to lock down their shortstop position.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Lineup balance is REALLY not a problem for us right now.

    Nine of the righties HAVE to go anywhere.

    An unbalanced lineup is a problem for good teams, or at least borderline good teams. Our current roster doesn't even border respectable.

    If every single eighty makes it and hits, that's a problem I would much prefer over a team if starters all batting under .250

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed. I think that'a great point.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I mentioned this is another post, but why such a strong need for balance? To me I see it more as a "want" than a "need". If all of these guys end up as superstars like we project them to be, they'll hit righties just fine.

  • I just don't see trading Castro,.... at least not yet.

    He's good (with potential to be great) already. Sure - he had an off year hitting - but we are all pretty sure why, and the way he was hitting at the end of last season shows he can still do it. He's improved defensively this last year and had a couple month stretch in the middle of the season where he was about as good defensively as anybody else in the NL - tailed off a bit at the end.

    Don't read me incorrectly - ANYBODY is tradable if the asking price is high enough. I just don't see the asking price for a cost-controlled, 24 year old, 2-time All Star, SS who already has a 200+ hit season under his belt as being anything I have seen YET. Trading him low after the down season last year is a stupid move - and I don't think our front office is in the habit of making stupid moves.

    If come 2015-2016 & Baez is beating down the fences to get in, and the decision is made to keep him at SS - then we worry about whether or not to move Castro.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I tend to agree. I think it's really tough to get fair value for a player with Castro's skills, potential, low cost, and age -- but coming off a down year.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Baez is probably coming up in 2014 sometime, not 2015-2016.

    I see Baez and Olt coming up sometime in the middle of 2014. Also I see Alcantara and Bryant making it in September of 2014. I would guess Baez would be LF, Olt is 3B, Bryant is RF and Alcantara as 2B. Castro is staying at SS.

    Does this look like a wave?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    I'd call that a wave for sure. We'd essentially be the Royals pre-2013 with better pitching, which everybody said was a good formula to build on.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    It looks like an unbelievably right-handed wave, though.

    And that really is the big problem they have to address.

  • In reply to John57:

    I agree with you about Olt - in fact I suspect he breaks Spring Training in 2014 with the starting 3B as his to keep - unless he plays himself out of it in the meantime. Who's going to beat him out for the spot? Maybe Bryant - but I don't see that until he has at least a couple hundred AAA and AA at bats under his belt and Olt is stinking up the place.

    Earliest I see Baez coming up and sticking (barring freak injuries or mass trades) is midseason next year. I don't think he is a fixture until 2015 unless he forces the issue and wins it big time, or unless Castro (God forbid) is injured for a significant period of time next season.

    I do think that (again barring injury or regression) we see each of Baez and Bryant up for an extended look by end of the 2014 season. We might even see Alcantara.

    I think we break opening day with an IF of Olt, Castro, Rizzo and a platoon of Murphy/Valbuena. Possibly Watkins forces his way onto the opening day roster. Starting OF of Sweeney, Schierholtz, Lake/Bogy - with hopefully a FA pickup of either Hart or (preferably imo) Granderson.

    But I think the wave is a good anology - and that wave starts to break by the end of next season. Won't fully be in until sometime 2015 though.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    There is some risk that Castro may be a better option at SS than Baez, but Javy is really something and won't be denied. It's also conceivable that room could be made for both. The front office has probably already determined the best course of action.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed 44slug - we obviously don't know how this all is going to play out yet. I would love to see the front office figure out a way to have a SS/2B combo (whomever plays either spot) of Baez/Castro, Bryant roaming either in the OF corner, or 3B, Olt, Rizzo, and Alcantara come 2015.

    Chose from among Lake, Bryant, Soler, Vitters (if he sticks), Sweeney and Almora to fill out the OF.

    That sounds like a team that could win a lot of games and score a lot of runs.

  • If I'm Seattle I stay with Nick Franklin and Brad Miller in the middle. I guess if Jack Z wants to go win-now then you might look at dealing for Castro, but to pay that much for Castro when you have excellent middle infield prospects who are MLB ready seems like a desperate move.

  • In reply to StatHead:

    He is the ownership's faith in him his shaken because he couldn't keep Wedge and the fact he can't get a FA to come to Seattle. He gas to win this year or he maybe out.

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    I'm really not all that inticed by Seattle.

    Paxton has no appeal, at least not when you're talking about Castro. Hultzen's shoulder is an obvious major concern, and while I like Walker a lot, he's proven nothing to anyone.

    And after those guys the cupboard is pretty bare.

    Giving up a freakish ceiling SS on a long term, extremely team-friendly deal should not involve that many question mark from your return.

  • Just listened to Kaplan's interview with Rick Renteria - Cubs got the right guy, love it

  • Everyone who is saying Walker is off limits he was already trade to the DBacks for Upton and Upton veto it. He is not the untouchable everyone is saying. The Dbacks were given the DBacks a hell of a deal and Upton's contact sucked. They haven't really added any offense since then so I can see a pack of Castro and Vogelbach bring back a ton.

  • I really don't understand why everyone is so against trading Castro. He is Edgar Renteria a nice piece but not a corner stone. When the Cubs signed Castro to that Deal almost everyone said Baez can't handle SS but now that has changed.
    The Biggest hole they have to fill is the top of the rotation. World Series are won and lost on the mound. It just a fact. Even if everyone of this top prospects hit and they all come close to reaching their potential, they won't win a World Series. Because we saw it this again like the last 4 years the playoffs the best pitching wins.
    The thing about Castro and this always scared the living crap out of me he never really failed in the minors. I wanted him to fail for a week or 2. Maybe have a god awful game like Bryant did his first game just to see how he could handle it. Last year he never adjusted and I am worried that his FO got into his head he has to be something he isn't.
    Everyone is saying Renteria was brought in to help Castro he wasn't it was for Baez and Soler. Those are the player I am more interested in seeing him work with.

  • In reply to KGallo:

    Kevin, you're right about "pitching beats hitting"...it's been proven throughout the years, but if you don't have great hitting, you'll certainly have no chance against excellent pitching. Having said that, if anyone can assure me that Baez (with his superior hit tool) is our shortstop of the near future, I'm in for trading Castro to bring back pitching. But right now, Castro has proven he can play the position well and he's also proven he can produce 200 hits in a season. I say give Baez a year or so at AAA to see how he develops as a SS, THEN let's talk about a trade. Part of having a great pitching staff is having a defense that makes plays behind it. Would it make sense to have a gaping hole at SS even with great pitching?

  • In reply to KGallo:

    And why would Seattle trade a ton for Edgar Renteria and an A ball DH? Upton was going to solve (potentially) there biggest issue, a middle of the order bat. They have no power hitting OFers, Upton was supposed to be the young guy with MVP potential they were going to build their offense around. I don't see Castro as that tpe of player (and you apparently do not either) so I don't see the correlation between a Castro trade and the Upton deal that fell through.

    I'm not against trading Castro. And if Seattle would offer a MLB ready Walker, I would accept, I just don't think it is a realistic return. What I do not want to do is trade Castro for prospects. The centerpiece of the return needs to contribute this year (Walker would qualify, Hultzen does not, and Paxton is a big step down compared to the other 2). The Cubs window starts when some element of the big 4 begins joining the team and contributing to the group of Rizzo/Castro/Castillo. If you start removing people from the latter to add to the former you are continuing to push the window further away unless you start adding via FA (which is a risky way to build a team).

  • In reply to mjvz:

    1) Castro has value but he has more value in the trade market because he still does have upside. Thing is he has made adjustments in the Cubs organization maybe a fresh start is what he needs.

    2). When the Cubs signed Castro to that long term deal there were question whether Baez could stick at SS or even whether he was just going to be a burn out. Everyone I have talked to believe he has asked those questions. Now Castro is blocking a true potential elite player in Baez.

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    In reply to KGallo:

    Exactly. Very well put.

    Castro is still a very valuable trade commodity. Perhaps the teams best asset. He may not be as valuable as he once was, but all it takes is one GM to think he is

    We all know how that ole change of scenery has done a wonder for many a ball players career/

  • I think people are afraid that the minute we trade him, he will go back to his rookie year and blossom . I sense a real fear that people think he will become a star somewhere else. If the Cubs really believed that he will turn around and become a star, they would let be known that teams can have him for a price. To me that says a lot , I believe the Cubs deep sown believe that Castro will never really develop into a star, that he is too stubborn and immature to ever fulfill his promise.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I hope that Castro does become a star for the team that the Cubs trade him to, but if we get a TOR pitcher and another piece it's a good trade.

  • I meant to say the Cubs would not be offering Castro around if they believed he will really turn it around and become a star.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Not necessarily.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Are the Cubs offering him around??? I think from all I've read is that Castro is a better SS than Baez. I'm against trading our young talent at this point. Lets see what we have.

  • In reply to rockyje:

    There not offering him directly, but the fact that people in media are talking about Castro may be on trade market says something. It says, to me, that the Cubs are letting it be known that Castro is available for the right price.

  • I forgot about that, KG. A package centered around Walker & Ackley would be pretty interesting. I'm not looking to deal Castro, by any means, but Walker is one of ,say, 5 guys(correct me if I'm wrong) in the upper-level minors who has legit "ace" potential. Much like Castro will look like a "buy low" candidate, I think Ackley would provide a nice complement to the group of core players that are developing in the upper minors.

    Ultimately, we all have talked about the "assets" -read bats-we have as a means of acquiring the top-shelf arms we'll need. Would you rather move Castro or Baez, say , to achieve that end? I know I'm much more bullish on Baez, long-term.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    You are right he is one of maybe 5 prospect true ace potential. I know a few scouts that like him more then Bradley. He has 4 pitches a FB, CB, Cutter and CU. His FB is a plus but could be a plus plus and the rest grade out to be above average or plus. You are looking at someone that could be nasty.

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    In reply to Carl9730:

    If we trade w Seattle, we have to Get Walker and Ackley. Its just that simple. Walker is that potential Ace who can be a #3-4 starting the next couple years behind Tanaka, Shark, and Wood. It would ease his progress w a lot less pressure and although King Felix is a great guy to learn from, our group isn't too shabby.

    Also Dustin Ackley will become Theo's poor man's version of Dustin Pedrioa. A grinder, undersized, give you everything he has player and whats even more important, he hits left handed!

  • For me the biggest problem with Castro is his maturity. He's seen Sveum let go. It seems like he believes he can do his own thing, wait long enough and whoever is manager will bend his way. Why would he believe otherwise?. This view could effect the way other players see things. The cubs can't afford to have a team that adopts this view and it may be the main reason for a trade.

  • In reply to pricewriter:

    I don't think Castro is stubborn and wants to do everything his way. In fact the reason he got in a rut last year was he was listening to everyone and trying to please them all. He has to go somewhere in the middle. I say let him stay at SS this year, prove he is still can hit, and then possibly trade him for a TOR starting pitcher. Baez I am guessing is the SS of the future.

  • I thought Seattle was pretty high on Brad Miller & Nick Franklin, so it would surprise me if they are interested in Starlin. If I'm not mistaken, didn't Ackley do relatively well in CF after being recalled?

    I'd be surprised if they were in on Castro.

  • I doubt they'd want Castro too In fact, they probably turn around and ask for Baez.

    So how high are we on Paxton and Walker? Would we do Paxton and Walker + another prospect for Baez?

    Anyone can justify trading Castro, especially when he'd never return that kind of haul. But Baez would. And the Haul is what we're after right? If Walker and Paxton proved to be 2 and 3 starters in the rotation isn't it worth Baez? No after how many home runs he rakes?....

  • In reply to felzz:

    I believe Taijuan Walker was a top-five prospect in all of baseball last season. He was ranked higher than Baez was (and I wouldn't be surprised if he is ranked ahead of Baez to start this season as well.)

    I HIGHLY doubt the Mariners would trade Walker AND another one of their best prospects in exchange for another elite prospect.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I would not trade Baez now. Baez starts the year at AAA and leave Castro at SS for next season, let him build up his confidence and then trade him for that kind of haul.

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    In reply to felzz:

    They wouldn't do that. Walker is a better prospect than Baez and prospect for prospect trades virtually never happen. I would make a Baez for Walker deal, though.

    But the only guy we have that could even conceivably return Walker is Starlin Castro -- the conceit behind the deal is that they need someone who can start hitting on day 1.

  • fb_avatar

    I listened to a lot of MLBNR last night at work. The Mariners are pretty much connected to every free agent hitter worth having, and the word is that on the trade front they're kicking the tires on Chase Headley and Brandon Phillips.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'd rather have Starlin than Headley. Not even that close, really. Phillips is debatable.

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    No one knows if Brad Miller is an everyday player still, although he played pretty well upon being called up last year. Castro's offensive game fits well at Safeco too. A Castro/Vogelbach package if you could get Walker who is pretty darn close to major league ready (He was 1-0 3.60era, 15inn, 11H, 4BB, 12K, .204BAA, 0.74GO/AO) if not Major League ready now, plus Ackley who can play 2B and is a lefty hitter, and maybe another prospect would be great for both.

  • Hey everyone, I'll be attending a Cubs event for awhile, so if some news breaks feel free to discuss here as always. I just won't be around to write until later this afternoon.

  • What type of pitchers are James Paxton, Danny Hultzer, and Taijuan Walker? Are all three of these guys projected to be a number 1? If so why would a team that is rebuilding be willing to part with a possible #1 starter? That is so hard to come by and to have 3 of them in the near future is a impressive feat. I would think a asking price for both teams would be high.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Seattle cant get hitters to come to their pitcher friendly ballpark and theyve done a good job getting pitchers to the MLB level. Thats why they traded Pineda for Jesus Montero.

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    I agree that Seattle is a great potential trade partner-not so much for Castro. Still think the Pirates match up well. I think Lake could be a good lead off man and Watkins a good fit in the 2 hole. Like Olt as the starter out of spring and still think Vitters makes it as a lf platoon man. I could see Brett Jackson getting moved to seattle

  • Making trades is one thing, but the Cubs need to hit on a franchise altering trade, such as when the Braves traded Doyle Alexander to Detroit for John Smoltz. That's why I think the Cubs should be scouting the win-now teams or the maxed-out payroll teams like PHI, CIN, STL, TEX, CA, LA, SF, NYY, DET, BOS, PIT, WA, ATL, TOR, BAL. These are teams that may be willing to trade pitching, then it's up to the Cubs FO to do their homework, fly under the radar and identify the next John Smoltz or Pedro Martinez. The key to it though is that the Cubs trade a true spare part for a Mercedes Benz.

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    If I am Seattle, I feel like I need to run with Brad Miller at SS, Nick Franklin at 2B, Seager at 3B, and Zunino at C. My holes are power hitting, particularly in OF.

    The guy Seattle would want isn't Castro. It's Kris Bryant.

    If you want Taijuan Walker or similar, I think it costs Bryant.

    I just can't see Seattle interested in Castro at all, with so many holes elsewhere, particularly POWER HITTING

  • I'm scratching what's left of my head and trying to recall ANY trades that have worked out LONG TERM for the Cubs. Other than the fire sales (Cey, Karros, ARam, Lofton, and Derek Lee), can you think of any? OK, OK, the Sandberg and Jenkins trades worked out but those were, what, 20-30 years ago?

    So, no thanks to sending Castro and his 200 yearly hits anywhere.

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    In reply to DropThePuck:

    Marshall for Wood.
    Bell for Sosa
    Carter for Sutcliffe.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Chris Carpenter/Aaron Kurcz for Theo Epstein
    Brant Brown for John Lieber
    Felix Heredia for Alex Gonzalez
    No one for Damian Miller
    Miller for Michael Barrett
    Miguel Batista for Henry Rodriguez
    Jason Smith for Fred McGriff
    Wilkins for Gonzalez/Servais
    Maldanado for Glenallen Hill
    Heathcliff Slocumb for Jose Hernandez
    Brent Lillibridge/Neifi Perez for money/freedom from watching Lillibridge and Neifi

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    In reply to mjvz:

    lol. The last one was the best.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Funny how the trades that come to my mind are the:
    HOF Lee Smith for Schiraldi and Nepper
    HOF Fergie Jenkins for only 3 years of Bill Madlock
    Madlock to the Giants for Bobby Murcer
    HOF Eckersley to the A's for 3 forgotten minor leaguers
    Palmiero to Texas for 1 good year of the Wild Thing
    HOF Bruce Sutter to StL for Leon Durham
    Any of the 8 trades we have made with the Braves

    and, see, I didn't even mention the Lou Brock disaster

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    In reply to DropThePuck:

    One of those three forgotten minor leaguers was Dave Wilder, the former Chi Sox senior director of player personnell who is currently in prison for stealing bonus money from the club and Dominican signees.

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    Cardinals fans are going apeshit today because Ken Rosenthal suggested trading Craig, Miller, and Rosenthal to the Rockies for Tulo + cash.

    I do think the Cardinals are going to make a trade for a shortstop this offseason and it will be fun watching them lose their collective mind.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I hate to admit it but I agree with their reaction. That's way too steep a price.

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    In reply to João Lucas:

    The way I look at it: you're getting a top 5 player at the hardest-to-fill position in the game on a long term contract, and the cash to cover said contract could give it some pretty significant surplus value. That isn't going to come cheap. The DBacks, for example, had to give up Trevor Bauer for a shortstop prospect well below Tulo.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Top 5 easily, I'd argue the best.

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    In reply to Matt McNear:

    I would, too, but I wanted to undersell it, if anything.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yeah, AND under thirty and locked up through his prime years...he should/will carry a huge price tag!

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I can see why StL fans would be upset (or as you more eloquently put it "going ape shit") over the idea of trading Rosenthal. :)

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    If I am the Cardinals, I do that trade in a second. Tulu is a top 10 player in baseball as a premium position and possibly a MVP candidate for the next 5 years. I would try to give them Adams over Craig but if they insisted on Craig, rockies going to have to send a young A pitcher though.

    How much is the drop off from Craig to Adams? How big is the upgrade from Kozma to Tulo? Plus cards are very RH'd so keeping Adams wouldn't be the worst thing esp if Beltran leaves.

    Great trade for both franchises.

    Considering we were looking for Miller and Martinez and Kozma for Starlin. I think If I am the cards, I rather have Tulu

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  • I can make $ from my laptop? 9k wow! How does that solve our TOR problem ? TIA

  • So when do we start putting some stakes in the ground?
    First we talk about trading Shark.
    Then Beef.
    Now it's Castro.
    Is Rizzo next?

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    No because he is a Theo/Jed guy. There rest weren't

  • Cub fan in Seattle here. I'm not sure that Seattle would do the Walker for Castro trade. Walker pitched pretty well in ~20 innings in the big leagues last September, and they're counting on him for the rotation next year. They only have two returning starters from the beginning of last year. As others have said, Brad Miller was one of the M's bright spots last year, and he's a guy with better on base skills than Starlin. They're a bit down on both Ackley and Franklin at 2B, but both are (or were) bigtime prospects. I doubt they'd give up on both guys and move Miller to 2B to accomodate Castro. I expect they'll trade one of the two 2B this offseason, as the GM will be fired if they don't win next year. I'd love to see the Cubs make a play for Ackley, as he showed signs of his swing coming back last year (and even if he didn't, he's no worse than D. Barney). I'm not sure the Cubs are a good match for an Ackley trade though. The M's are pretty much set with good young prospects at every position except 1B and OF, and they need to win now. Maybe you could pry Ackley loose with Olt and Junior Lake or Olt and Shierholtz, but I'm not sure the Cubs have the right match of MLB-ready talent.

  • In reply to cubinsea:

    They already traded him at one point. He would have been part of the Upton trade if Upton wouldn't have vetoed it.

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    In reply to cubinsea:

    Send Shierholtz and Vogelbomb for Ackley.

    Personally the Cubs have to upgrade that 2nd base position this winter and preferably left handed. Well they needed to do it last year when I was praying they went out and got Jason Kipnis. I still would love for that to happen but he's no longer much of a secret anymore

    1. Cano----not happening

    2. Kipnis-----jedstein can maybe do some magic, hes due for a good move

    3. Dustin Ackley----shouldn't cost an arm and a leg and would be an instant upgrade offensively and boy could he use a change of scenery. Perhaps he could be our poor version of the big papi pickup jedstein is famous for. I

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Or you could sign Mark Ellis who has better career numbers in every single category or don't do anything rash like this and wait one season for Baez/Alcantara which would both be much cheaper and not give up a single player. Ackley is pedestrian, and has never put up above average numbers in any category. Not impressed. Definitely not enough to give up one of the best 1B prospects in the league and an outfielder who puts up numbers just as good if not better than Ackley.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    1b prospect is blocked unless of course Rizzo has peaked and I believe he hasn't played above A ball, and yes the scouts could all be wrong and he could end up being a avg defender at first.

    I have no problem w Mark Ellis, and yes he has better career numbers then Dustin Ackley in every single category but that's not a fair statement considering his limited abs/career, but whose to say I can tell the future or you can. He's also another RH hitter on the wrong side of 30, and eventually we need to start finding young left handed bats vs band aids, but I do like the idea of at least getting better players onto the team !

    Although instead of adding pieces little by little, they could all arrive at once ( graduated prospects and free agents)

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    It's not about Vogelbach providing value to OUR team, it's about his value in a trade being 10x what it is now if he hits well the next year and a half into AA ball. Ackley has nearly 1500 major league plate appearances.. That is no small sample size. He no longer has prospect status and has performed well below that of Schierholtz, which is not all that great. You're suggesting giving up a starting outfielder and a great prospect for a guy who has put up NO numbers the past two seasons. I wouldn't mind buying low on him and giving him a chance, but what you are suggesting is not buying low, it's a steep price. I'd much rather find a one year stop-gap, and let Alcantara (who is a switch hitter) or Baez take over the spot.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I get your point, and it makes sense on one side, but in reality Schierholtz for as great as he is really provides little long term solution for this team. What hes going to be a fringe starter for 1 or 2 more years at most? Probably a flip candidate.

    Perhaps your scouting report is right on and Ackley sucks and will never become anything above replacement value, but there is also a chance Vogelbach never makes it to the show esp on a NL team. Most people don't want to face that reality, but its a real possibility. I just think if there is a chance to potentially improve the team in the long term. you try to do it. Jedstein is going to find us a David Ortiz from some dumpster

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The past 3 seasons WAR:

    Dustin Ackley: 4.5
    Darwin Barney: 4.6

    For one of the leagues top 1B prospects and our right fielder who put up better numbers than Ackley last year? No, man. No GM in their right mind would even consider it.

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    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I am sure your prob right, but if you have been watching baseball for more then a couple years, you know stranger things have happened as most GM's and evaluators of talent don't read off the same notes/guidelines which is what makes baseball the greatest sport/game IMO

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I'm not against acquiring Ackley if the FO thought it were at the right price, but this is not the right price, or even close. I also don't think Vog will ever play for an NL team, but I do think he will net us more than this in the future. Only time will tell. I'd put my money on myself in this argument though.

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    I like Castro.
    I think he will absolutely improve, next season. Especially with Baez and Alcantara breathing down his neck. Will he become like Hanley Ramirez? I guess I'm just on the fence. The tools are fantastic. The lapses SHOULD fade with age. Renteria may be the best thing that happens to this kid! 3.00/20 HR's/30 SB's is still possible.
    But, if we can balance out the farm with 2 of those big 3 Seattle arms...I'd still trade him.

    That puts Walker in the rotation in 2014. Reinforcements to come in 2015. Next thing you know, you're a free agent move away from really contending in 2015-16. Start 2014 with Barney at SS and maybe Mark Ellis at 2B. Get Rizzo on track, let Baez/Bryant grow organically. The excitement of youth makes this a fun team to watch, regardless.
    I'm dreaming of a very alphabetic start to a lineup in 2015-2016.
    1. Alcantara
    2. Almora
    3. Baez
    4. Bryant

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    In reply to Eric Foster:

    I like the way you think. In reality, we are 2 signings and 1-2 trades away from being a real team to watch next year.

  • Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but ...

    David Kaplan ‏@thekapman 4h

    Jed Hoyer on @davidkaplanshow when asked about Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka.... "He's going to help somebody and we will be in on him."

    Good to hear. Hopefully it'll be a NON second or third place finish, however. Go big or go home.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I completely agree. They already failed on there bids for Yu and Ryu. If there scouts are telling them what we hope they are. Time to come strong or don't come at all.

    I really don't want to see what plan B is although it could be something quite awesome, but I prefer to go w plan A and jedstein do his magic w a big piece in place.

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    In reply to Average Samaritan:

    The Cubs are not going to sign Tanaka I don't think. I do think 2014 is going to be another year of flipping short term contracts for long term assets. They won't match the Dodgers or Yankees in the posting process. Of course I could be wrong but I think due to the fact the Dodgers have virtually no quality players in the minors will mean they will way over spend to get Tanaka's negotiating rights.

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    In reply to Michael Canter:

    Dodgers farm is much better then you would think considering all there trading and spending. Pederson, the younger Seager, Zach Lee, McGill, Garcia, ect. They also have a bunch of young INTL assets. They also have Kemp or Ethier they can move to get some more young assets. Plus they have to give Kershaw his brinks truck. There is a reason they aren't in on the Cano sweepstakes and hopefully its not only because they want Tanaka.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I do like Pederson. I don't see any potential better than average major leaguers other than him though. I have not had a chance to look at any of their IFAs, but it will say that their international scouts have hit a few home runs in recent years.

  • Tanaka is a long shot. The Cubs have one position player not named Castillo or Rizzo and that is not one of the top four prospects, who can bring back a TOR pitcher. Castro is a good kid who plays with a quiet coonfidence and will most likely get better, but he is no Javy Baez.

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