Who's on short?
That is the riddle these days when it comes to the Cubs' future.
Reporters from both Chicago and New York surrounded Starlin Castro's locker Friday to ask the young incumbent about the reported interest the Mets may have in him or other Cubs shortstops.
Normally it would be quite awkward for a three-time All-Star who has yet to turn 25 to be facing such a line of questions. The future of the position would normally be a moot point for most clubs.
However, the Cubs happen to have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to shortstop.
Top prospect Javy Baez was just recently relocated to second base to ease his way into the major leagues. Yet, Baez was carefully mentioned by general manager Jed Hoyer Friday as still being a capable shortstop in the organization's eyes.
Castro was also asked about his willingness to change positions to make way for a top prospect like Addison Russell. He told Mark Gonzalez in no uncertain terms he wasn't ready for that.
"I showed a lot of people that I can be good at my position," Castro said Friday night before extending his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the second inning against the Mets. "I don't have control (over my future). I think a lot of people see me and know that I can handle that position my whole career. That's the position I always play."
When the Cubs acquired the top-5 shortstop prospect Russell from Oakland, it only helped to make the positional waters just a little more murky. He is usually mentioned as the best of the bunch, defensively. Oakland GM Billy Beane supposedly told Cubs brass they were getting the next Barry Larkin.
Personally, I've been asked about this pleasant little dilemma many times during some recent local radio appearances. Each time I have stated my romantic wish for the Cubs to find a way to play all three somewhere, somehow.
Hoyer was asked if the Cubs can make this a reality. He teased my dream with the answer he gave Gordon Wittenmyer
“I think we can be a better team for it in a lot of ways if we end up doing that,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer also told Wittenmyer he feels no pressure to alleviate the logjam.
“No,” Hoyer said. “Not at all.”
Yet, I get the sense that something will eventually give. I hope Hoyer is being sincere when he envisions the possibility of all three residing in Chicago simultaneously. Yet, With the Cubs in need of young, impact arms they may get the kind offer they can't refuse this winter. Those offers can be commonplace from New York.
The Mets and Yankees will both be looking.
When it comes to the Mets, young arm Zach Wheeler is a name that has been mentioned to me specifically, and the Cubs supposedly have had a keen interest. Wheeler didn't do much to hurt that opinion as he struck out 10 Cubs Friday night in a 3-2 win.
But again, as I have stated before, I'd rather take my chances with keeping the young bats, adding pitching through other avenues.
With young bats at a premium these days, the Cubs are holding a lot of cards.
I'm just hoping for a shortstops-are-wild kinda hand.
Filed under: Uncategorized