In the off-season, there was a story about Starlin Castro permanently moving to the US. Seems trouble followed him around in the Dominican Republic and he needed to get away. An ESPN story quoted him as saying:
“Too many problems over there [in the Dominican Republic]. I have to move. I have to do something so I’m not involved in negative things. I’m not that kind of person. I want to always be on this team.”
Nice how he added that last sentence. The thing is, Starlin feels like a guy who needs — and desperately wants — a home. And that home to him is the Chicago Cubs. I don’t know Starlin, personally, obviously, but it feels like he has – feelings. He may be a tad, shall we say, sentimental?
He traded the DR for Arizona with a multi-million dollar mortgage to be named later.
So, with all the trade rumors going around about his future with the Cubs, I would imagine he’s a little off-kilter. He has made a lot of errors this season. And as Joe Maddon himself has said, “Physical errors are going to happen, but mental errors, we can’t have that.” Starlin’s errors feel more like the mental variety.
With high-potential young shortstops circling Wrigley and a trade rumor mill that feels like an echo chamber, Starlin is trying to block it out. That is, until he has to turn a double play and looks over to toss the ball to Addison Russell and thinks, “Ah, that guy. Nice kid with the perfect name for the Cubs. How can I compete with that? And Javy Baez is hitting .296 in AAA? Come on man. Where’s Mick Kelleher when you need him?”
Starlin will likely get his 1000th major league hit this year. He has persevered on teams that have been terrible and has been most times the lone bright spot on an awful team. Trading him now would be like making a recruit go through five years of brutal boot camp only for the Army to say, “Great, we don’t need you anymore.” It would be akin to torture.
Still, baseball is a business, and Starlin’s name comes up in trade talks because he’s a very good baseball player. And, he makes less money than Edwin Jackson.
It’s no wonder the Padres and the Mets have been potential suitors. I’m wondering why the Yankees haven’t come up – Starlin feels way more like a potential heir apparent to Derek Jeter than Didi Gregorius. How about the A’s? We have a history of ravaging their system. Thanks, Billy.
The Cubs do have needs that are pretty obvious to fans – relief pitching, back-end starters, a power pinch hitter, possibly? Cole Hamels, specifically? How about Tyler Clippard and Ben Zobrist? Rafael Soriano? All fine at the right price, but please make the Jonathan Papelbon rumors stop.
Let the speculators speculate. Let the prognosticators prognosticate. Me, I’ll be back here watching the game, basking in the glow of our already good team that’s probably a few decent acquisitions away from being in the race all year. What those acquisitions are, that’s up to Theo and the FO. Right now, Starlin’s home is on the Cubs, a team that is above .500 for the first time in, well, long enough. No need to keep reminding fans of that.
Hate to use the cliché, but you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.