Trade Rumor Thread: Even More Starlin Castro Rumors

Trade Rumor Thread: Even More Starlin Castro Rumors

UPDATE 6:00 Ken Rosenthal says that the Cubs big trade for Addison Russell was almost even bigger.  The A's were interested in utilityman Luis Valbuena for their hole at second base.  However, both teams agreed to table those talks and perhaps revisit them down the road.  However, Rosenthal confrims something we've said here for a long time: the Cubs are not inclined to trade Valbuena and will only move him if they fell they are getting value in return.


After acquiring Addison Russell last week, Cubs President Theo Epstein gave Starlin Castro a vote of confidence stating: "This trade had nothing to do with Starlin Castro. It had everything do about acquiring young impact talent." Epstein went on to call Castro a "centerpiece" of the Cubs plans and added that there is room for all the team's young IF talent to play together. However, this has not stopped the media from around the league from speculating that the Cubs will be moving one of their young shortstops, with most of the focus being on Castro. As John reported yesterday, the Mets have already been mentioned as a potential match based on their stockpile of young pitching and lack of shortstop options within their organization. However, the speculation is starting to spread around the league, despite repeated comments from the Cubs that they don't plan on moving any of them right now.

  • According to Ken Rosenthal, Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond recently turned down a $90M extension offer from the team and seems intent on reaching free agency after the 2015 season. As a result, the Nationals are now searching for a young shortstop using catcher Sandy Leon, outfielder Steven Souza and infielder Zach Walters as bait. The team does not want to move RHPs Lucas Giolito and A.J. Cole in any deal, though Giolito would likely be the first name on the Cubs wish list in any trade.
  • Jeff Moore of Baseball Prospectus and praises the Cubs approach to using prospects as currency and speculates on the Pirates as a potential landing spot for Castro. Though trading Castro within the division would be risky, the Pirates are well stocked with young pitching such as Nick Kingham and Tyler Glasnow, not to mention top prospect Jameson Taillon who is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
  • MLB Trade Rumors examines the market for second base options and lists both Darwin Barney and Luis Valubuena as being potentially available. However, both players are listed in the "Backups/Utility Players/Defensive Specialists" section, which I feel vastly undervalues Valbuena's contributions this season.
  • There was plenty of speculation last week that the Cubs could look to move their international bonus slots since they are restricted from spending the full value after exceeding their pool last year. The Cubs have not traded any of their available slots, but four of them were traded yesterday. To give you an idea of the value of these slots, the Rays sent AA RHP Matt Ramsey to the Marlins in exchange for Miami's second, third, and fourth slots (total values $1.08 million) according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. Ramsey, 24, is a hard throwing righty with some control issues, but has put together a strong season so far (1.07 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings).
  • The Brewers also acquired an international slot worth $339K from Oakland in exchange for Low A RHP Rodolfo Fernandez. Fernandez is a 24 year old Cuban who has allowed 4BB/9 so far this season and isn't considered much of a prospect. The Brewers will use the extra slot money to finally sign Dominican SS Gilbert Lara without exceeding their bonus pool and incurring penalties next season. Lara was rated the #5 IFA prospect this year according to Baseball America.

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  • If you are implying moving Castro "right now," the Cubs don't seem willing to move up their minor league shortstops at the moment, and the Mets are too far out of it now to care. Maybe some time in 2015.

    On the other hand, Barney and Valubuena, right now is equivalent to "who cares?" Doesn't Valubuena mean "good value?"

  • In reply to jack:

    cute. but it means good valley, or fertile valley. oh, what? you weren't serious? i never joke about translations. eg: did you know that titiqaqa (lake in peru) actually means puma rock? or that the grand teton was arguably named thusly because it resembles a big teat?

  • In reply to RizzowiththeStick:

    Also, I relied on the poster's spelling, even though I thought it was wrong, and when I turned on WGN, the caption indicated that it was. Valbuena is the correct spelling, which would get the translation you proposed.

  • I think a trade of Castro would be demoralizing to our players right now. They are the ones that think "today" each and every day they put that uniform on. The future is there for them, but that doesn't change their present, so I don't think it would be wise to make them think like a GM does at this moment. JMO.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    It depends on what the trade would be. If for prospects, yes, it might be demoralizing. If it is as the headliner of a trade for a big league power bat, say Stanton, I couldn't imagine how that would be demoralizing to the players....

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    I would agree. I guess I should have qualified what I was saying.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Why are the marlins shopping Staunton?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    They are not.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    I caught a bit of Rizzo on Spiegs and Peggy, and he already sounded a bit mopey about "baseball is now a business" and that kind of stuff.

    Also, Giangreco played some of Shark's comments about how enthusiastic the As players are, and said that that was a slap at the Cubs.

    So, you may be onto something, Steve.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well they do have the best record in the majors and added Shark and Hammel. How could they not be enthusiastic?

    Of course, you're on to what may end up being a problem with all of the tanking: players getting used to losing, and how do you mix short and long term interests while not creating an apathetic or negative atmosphere? I'll leave that to the FO.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    This is my concern. How do you go from worse record over a 3 yr span to all if sudden in contention? It is hard to do.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Not only does the cliché "winning cures everything" hold true, but there is going to be significant roster turnover, with the new guys coming over from other winning type atmospheres. Not concerned at all about this.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yes, and I get sick of hearing about these guys getting to play baseball for a living and making hundreds if not millions of dollars a year talk about moping around.

    But ChiRy, I think you nailed it, many of these guys are not going to be here when they begin winning, and those that are will revel in it. It is a value of keeping the I-Cubs together for much of this season, so they can begin feeling what its like to win together; which can translate quite well to when they arrive in the bigs. They will know how to win together, so when there are initial struggles, they can lean on those days that they were dominant and allow their talent to shine.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    Most of those with apathetic attitudes will be replaced by Baez, Russell, Bryant, Alcantara, Almora, McKenney, Johnson, Edwards and half a dozen others. I wouldn't worry about attitudes.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    If I read the name Stanton tied to Castro one more time I am going to send them a virus or stick a pin in an ugly doll! The Cubs are NOT going to trade 3 or 4 great prospects, whose contribution would be potentially greater than Stanton! To boot, as John has lamented in response to this notion, why trade 3 or 4 potential stars who are cost controlled to rent Stanton for 2 years? Now I ask you posters, does this sound how Theo and Jed think? I think not!

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    I don't think it's very likely that Castro is traded during the current season. However, it becomes much more likely over the winter. As for the Nats, they don't have a reason to make a trade now b/c they have a good SS under control. The Mets, like the Cubs, don't have any sense of urgency to make a trade now b/c they are non-contenders. Further, Theo & Jed are smart guys and they're gonna let the dust settle before they make another major trade (involving a player of Castro's caliber).

  • MLBTR has Valbuena listed as a starter. Only Barney is listed as a backup.

  • In reply to Burnsie25:

    The MLBTR article got updated. The author notes in the Comments that he had Valbuena listed as a starter for the 3B article since that has been his primary position, but it looks like he moved him up since he could be a starter at 2B too.

  • Trading Castro (IMO) at this stage, with NONE of the alternatives to him being demonstrated ML-ready AND a better alternative to him is shortsighted. One thing Theo and Hoyer do not appear to be is shortsighted.

    Unless and until somebody makes an offer that is absolutely foolish to turn down for Castro (a ML-ready TOR starter + a Blue-Chip prospect or two) - he should be considered THE GUY to beat out for SS in Chicago.

  • The Cubs are not talking to any team about Castro, its just all media speculation! Castro is a proven MLB player, prospects are not. If they trade Castro and the prospects don't pan out, the Cubs have nobody.It doesn't matter what position they play if they can hit they will put them somewhee.

  • In reply to Fitz:

    Exactly - it's an easy story for lazy media members to put together - "the Cubs just traded for a top SS prospect, OMG they already has a SS so they have to trade him!"

    As many have been saying on this board the last few days, until there are no holes in our everyday lineup, there isn't any reason to trade great position players just for the sake of trading them.

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    In reply to Fitz:

    Exactly. This is all speculation. What we should have learned for the A's trade: don't necessarily believe what the "experts" are predicting. And if a team is really serious about a trade, it will not leak it. All leaks and Twitter posts and comments like, "the Mets want Castro" probably mean that a grade won't happen. That information is leaked for a reason.

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    In reply to Fitz:

    Exactly. This is all speculation. What we should have learned for the A's trade: don't necessarily believe what the "experts" are predicting. And if a team is really serious about a trade, it will not leak it. All leaks and Twitter posts and comments like, "the Mets want Castro" probably mean that a trade won't happen. That information is leaked for a reason.

  • In reply to Fitz:

    I don't buy that "the Cubs are not talking to any team about" anything. The impression I get is that GMs are always talking to other teams about everything, but most of it is just exploratory. If Detroit offered Porcello, Scherzer, and Verlander, and pay their salaries for Castro, Jed would listen. However, we also know that Detroit isn't going to do that.

  • Dont think they are looking to trade Castro right now. Once the MLB 25 man gets a bit crowded and there is no place else open, then Thed will think about it. Not to say they wouldn't listen is someone wants to try to blow them away with a deal they cant refuse, but right now we want our line-up in place first. And I agree '69, that would have a horrible impact on the clubhouse. "That's what performing will get you. Out of town!"

  • I think we should start some "trade the Chicago Sports Media" rumors to get these buffoons to stop.

    Castro is a 24yo, 3-time AS @ SS. Go ahead and blow us away with an offer we cant refuse if you want to... but nobody will. End of story except we have more subscriptions to sell...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    With the quality of Chicago sports writers, we'd have to kick in a bunch of cash just to get a bag of balls back in return

  • In reply to JasonB:

    And National too. I cant believe ESPN signed former WSCR / Mike North lackey/buffoon Jessie Rogers to covers the Cubs beat. Guy is a complete an utter moron. How he got a national gig is beyond me.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    I can't figure out why ESPN 1000 relies on former SCORE employees generally, mostly those who took the Webio flyer, and of course, Murph.

    But, as far as I know, Rogers is only on the Cubs beat for the local radio station, but maybe the national is byproducting that.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    ESPN brought on Skip Bayless....enough said.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    They need something other than the 23 hour a day "Carmelo hasn't ruled us out yet" stuff.

    While the national media needs "LeBron might be still going back to the Cavs."

    I still don't see anyone bringing up that the "reliable" writer who said that Thibs was going to be traded to the Knicks turned out to be wrong.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Hear, hear!

  • Totally off-topic, but ugh. Look at that line-up today against Cueto. Nauseating. Just got to be a little more patient... but my words... this is gonna be ugly for a little while. So glad that the minors are brimming with talent and that some of it will be up this year.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    I agree with line up. But I don't think many will be called up this year.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Just to be clear, I didn't mean the likes of Bryant or even Baez, but more like AA and some of the back-end of the rotation types like Beeler and Hendricks who have already been called up. It'll be interesting to see who gets a cup of coffee in September, but if Renteria keeps trotting a lineup like today's out there, I may just have to hide my head in the sand from now until those Sept. call ups. That's a real horror show.

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    Remember last trading deadline when out of no where Shark to Arizona started getting some buzz? I think that is kind of what this is with Castro.

    Team Theo is letting the narrative of trading Castro out there now to help the media and the fans get use to the idea in case they do decide to move him in the future. It would not surprise me at all to hear some Baez buzz during the trading season as well. If for no other reason than to get the conversation started in case they decide to move that way as well.

  • There are no Castro trades rumors. Until the Cubs are actually shopping him, it's all just speculation by media. Of course other teams are interested in Castro, he's a tremendous player with great value, but in the end, it takes two to tango.

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    The return for IFA slots has been underwhelming. Doesn't appear they are worth too much from a trade standpoint, at least teams are treating them that way

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Seems way down from last year, when we had to give up a pretty solid prospect in Ronald Torreyes to get ~$900k in IFA money.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Unfortunately, I think you can owe that to the Yankees. When you have a big market team that has pretty much said they're "giving the bird" to the IFA rules and signing all the talent they can, money be damned, it kind of drives down the value of those slots, no? The yankees obviously don't care. And if they're signing away the most talented players, there really isn't going to be much demand for those slots IMO.

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    I would be stunned if Castro was dealt. Doesn't make sense at this point. It might a year from now once we have a little better idea how all the prospects are going to sort out, but unless they think his 2014 is a fluke and want to trade high it seems highly unlikely he is traded.

  • Anthony Rizzo is in second place behind Morneau for the final vote. I heard him on the score today and he said he would do anything to go to the all-star game. He wants it badly and he deserves it. Everyone needs to go vote for him now!

  • In reply to JLynch2247:

    Maybe he can bring the Cubs back from a 3-0 score in the 5th. That would show some MVP potential.

  • Seeing how the Cubs have the brightest and most advertised "For Sale" sign out there in the market, this type of wild speculative trade rumors are going to be out there. It reminds me of the ramblings of a drunk guy at a Roto draft back in the day pre-computer.

  • It may be a coincidence, but around this time last year we were shopping Garza and we started hearing rumors about Shark. I couldn't imagine why the Cubs would consider trading him away unless the return was insane. That market seemed to build up over the year and we were able to get back a very impressive return.

    I don't think they have any desire to trade Castro at this point, and potentially into the future, but if we struggle to turn a corner next year, I wouldn't be surprised to see a deal made near the deadline. If his power surge continues through the year then the market for him next year would be more than impressive.

  • In reply to KC Cubs Fan:

    The only difference is that Castro is under contract.

  • You can tell there is nothing to talk about, because there is a 0.0000% chance Castro is getting traded soon. It makes absolutely no sense. The Castro rumors are nothing more than the media doing whatever it can to gain attention and readership. Unfortunately, the poor reporting can disguise itself as "rumors" or "possibilities", because there is no way for someone to prove it wrong. Everyone calm down, our 3 time all-star with superstar potential (yes potential, he's still only 24, despite the fact that he has been criticized as if he was in his prime for quite some time) will be with us and wowing us for quite some time.

  • When the Cubs win the World Series and Castro is named MVP, there will immediately be posts saying "We should be able to trade him straight up for Stanton."

  • In reply to Richard Beckman:
  • In reply to Richard Beckman:

    If the cubs top 10 prospects are ever traded for Stanton, because Theo and Jed are into name recognition and dropping names like Jim Bowden, will these posters be appearing in beer commercials electing Stanton to fill every roll in politics and sports like Ditka?

  • Since we've traded away 2 of our best three starters for another sack of magic beans. I'd say the highest priority must be starting pitching, and that all of that asset value on the infield is on the table.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Samardzija was a magic bean

  • Love the line-up that Ricky threw out there today. Just wish he could have sprinkled Olt in there somewhere.

    Tank-a-polooza has begun!

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Jimmie Ward:

    What specific changes would you have him make to it?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Olt and Lake in.

  • Jimmie: I guess you like to watch Olt strike out, huh?

  • In reply to HankSauer rules:

    Only if it's in a big moment.

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    Underwhelming trade idea. No rush on this. It could take place in August after the "Trade Deadline" (I dare someone to put in a waiver claim on it). What if we market Barney to these teams looking for SS. While he is never likely to be a good hitter he could be a "change of scenery" candidate. He is an inexpensive utility infielder with good defense and can go on streaks. What can we get back? An "organizational talent" or a "AAAA player." I'm not talking a guy with a bright future, but maybe a guy that they are trying to find a buyer for and needs a change of scenery.

    These kinds of things happen all the time. Players like Ruggiano. Or even the equivalent of BJax or Vitters. A guy who is still young but has worn out his welcome with the current club. Basically, a guy with little or no future with his current organization. This could open a spot on the active roster for AA or someone else AND open a spot on the 40-man roster to potentially protect another young player from the Rule V draft.

    The key is don't set the bar too high. If dealing with the Nationals, don't demand Harper. In fact, don't even bring his name up. Players like Barney get in trouble when expected to make big contributions on offense. He has value as the 25th guy on the roster to provide defensive help or give other players an off day. He played SS until AAA when he moved because Castro was blocking him so he can handle the position. He was seen as an adequate offensive player with good defense. Offensively he has not panned out.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Everyone is baseball knows that Barney does not have the arm for SS.

  • MLBTR reports that Rosenthal reported that the A's wanted Valbuena in the Shark/Hammel trade, but Theo and Jed wouldn't include him. Apparently they think he'd be an upgrade at 2B for them, and they might possibly re-engage in trade talks with the Cubs later on this month.

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    It still wouldn't surprise me if the new FO wouldn't mind ridding itself of all things Hendry. I wouldn't be surprised to see Castro traded.

  • In reply to Ray:

    No offense, but I don't understand statements like this. Based on their personalities, I have a hard time believing that Theo and Jed harbor any ill will toward Jim Hendry, much less the ayers that he brought into the organization. That seems very shallow and petty and I just don't envision that sort of behavior from this FO.

    They care about one thing - finding talented baseball players and putting them in the best position to help us win championship. They could care less where those players come from.

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    In reply to JasonB:

    No offense taken, and you are right. I don't believe that the new FO has any ill will toward Hendry, either. It just wouldn't surprise me if they traded Castro. Time will tell.

  • In reply to Ray:

    I obviously can't say that that won't happen but if it does, I think it will serve some sort of strategic purpose (i.e. too many bats and not enough pitching, turn short-term asset into long-term one, etc.)

  • waaay off topic, but where did junior lake get his name? i believe it was his given name (junior osvaldo lake), but that just seems like a really odd name for a black-hispanic dominican. especially considering the pronunciation of the name. seems like it should be hoo-nior la-kay

  • Help me understand why we don't PH in that situation? With Coghlan and Sweeney due up, the Reds (smartly) bring in a lefty. I don't really care that they hit homeruns in prior AB's. I didn't look at their splits, but neither is particularly good against lefties, are they? I know Lake, Olt and Welly aren't great "contact" guys, but it sure seems to me that Ricky gets the short end of the stick on the lefty v. righty matchups time and time again.

  • In reply to ErnieB:

    1) Playing with a 13 man pitching staff, really limits R2's opportunities to use his bench (all 4 of them, one of whom is the alternate catcher).

    2) Remand recent performance would suggest that Jr. and Mike Olt are going to K on 3 pitches anyway, so why pinch hit for 2 better performing players (relatively speaking, of course)?

    3) R2 needs to get a better pair of 20-20 glasses, as BOTH Jr. and Olt were successful pinch hitters later in the game.

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    It doesn't make much sense to move Castro until Baez is closer to ML-ready. Baez could take over sometime in 2015. Then, once Russell is ready, probably 2016, slide over to second.

    I'm really interested in knowing if any teams have kicked the tires on EJaxx. It was rumored the Yankees may have.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    All that said, if the right deal for Castro presented itself before the August 1 trade deadline or at the winter meetings, the Cubs could always use a stop gap at Ss until Baez was ready, which I don't think will be long.

  • Don't kid yourself. Castro is definitely on the trading block, and will
    be moved when Theo receives an acceptable offer. Castro is not the type of player that Theo wants for the future.

  • In reply to ELAN:

    I'm still waiting for someone to re-post the article where Theo said that shortstops that at solid defense and hit 20+ HRs a year aren't his type of player.

    Theo's type of player is any player who is good at playing baseball who can be had at an affordable price. While Castro doesn't have the patience profile that Theo would like, he consistently squares up a baseball better than most ayers in baseball - Theo will take that skill because he understands how unique it is.

  • correct me if i'm wrong. but I don't think castro has had a hit since the trade. I think 0-11 with a walk or two. I think he is "looking over his shoulder"

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    In reply to DLROBERTSON:

    There is so many things wrong with this statement.

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    In reply to DLROBERTSON:

    I'll expound.

    1) he's actually had two hits. Including the very next day.

    2) he's also had two walks

    3) know what else he's done twice since the trade? Strikeout.

    So the two hits he's had isn't really as relevant as the 17 balls in play out of 19 ABs. Doesn't sound like struggling to me.

  • Trading Castro for anything but a major league big time bat or ace would be a huge setback in the rebuild. The cubs haven't had a shortstop as good as Castro since Ernie banks and short of his obp issue and defensive miscues which he has vastly improved he has few weaknesses is his game. He is the type of young cost controlled shortstop any team would dream to have. Banking on baez Russell or any pitching prospects that would come back in a trade would be a big mistake. Please let's end any Castro trade talk at least until baez or Russell prove they will be as effective as Castro in the bigs.

  • correct me if i'm wrong. I don't think castro has had a hit since the trade and rumors started. (0-11 with one or teo walks) I think he is "looking over his shoulder"

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    I do not relish the idea of bringing Stanton on board. The costs are way to high monetarily and the talent drain. For an oft injuried player. That makes him a part-time player, he can't be counted on when you need him. Oft injuried platers do not age well. Their future is usally blighted by the past. Also the Cubs have a large dose of big bats waiting in the wings. Let's move forward..

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    In reply to John Rose:

    Its all about the headlines. No one thinks if Stanton being hurt all the time and allegations or bad knees. Or the fact that SS are always more valuable than corner outfielders.

    Even though trading big prospects for Stanton makes no sense imo because it's the great Giancarlo Stanton this will go on until the day he gets traded or signs a huge deal..

  • There's bound to be rumors about Castro. If he takes a step back from the rumors and looks at it as a complement to his talent that other teams are looking at him he'd be better off. Will he do that? I hope so.

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    Why are you still here you were supposed to jump ship if the cubs traded shark for more magic beans??????

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    In reply to William Ray:

    This was for Bloomie not sure how it ended up here

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