Trade Talk Tuesday: Starlin Castro

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The Cubs have a surplus of young infield talent with Addison Russell (20), Javier Baez (21), Starlin Castro (24), Kris Bryant (22), Arismendy Alcantara (23), Anthony Rizzo (25), and now Tommy La Stella (25). While all of these guys have shown clear talent and potential, the Cubs just don’t have enough lineup spots to keep them all. And with Castro as the only proven entity at shortstop, as well as the only one with an extremely large contract, it seems most likely that he’d be the odd man out. While they’re pretty loaded with infield and outfield talent, the Cubbies have shown interest in acquiring both a catcher and young pitching.

As you read in my previous Trade Talk Tuesday post, the Mets, with the addition of Michael Cuddyer in the outfield, have just one glaring weakness- and that’s at shortstop. There have been several rumors about the Mets interest in Starlin Castro, and he’d be a perfect fit. The Mets have a multitude of young pitching and catching to offer up.

The strengths and weaknesses of the Mets and Cubs match up quite well, and it appears as though they’re the perfect trade partners.

Here’s my proposal:

Mets get: Starlin Castro
Cubs get: Jon Niese, Rafael Montero, Kevin Plawecki

This trade seems to make sense for both sides of the deal…

The Mets get the final piece of the puzzle in Castro, pushing them clearly into the playoff discussion, and maybe even the World Series discussion. Based on the below graphic, a tracker of all of his home runs from 2014 with an overlay of Citi Field, Castro’s power should clearly translate to the pitcher-friendly Citi Field, especially after the walls were moved in for the second time in just about three years. Castro brings more than just power to this team… He already has three All-Star appearances, and he’s only 24 years old. Not to mention, he’s locked up until 2020! Castro hit for a .292 average, 14 home runs, and 65 RBIs- and that RBI total would’ve been much higher if he were in a thriving offense, unlike that of the 2014 Cubs.

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This trade makes sense for the Cubs, as well. Jon Niese is a proven starter the MLB. He’s only 28. He’s a southpaw. And at his peak, and when fully healthy, he’s pretty fricken’ good… To add to Niese, who would be their ace or #2 pitcher, they get Rafael Montero, who was one of the top prospects not just in the Mets organization, but in baseball, for several years. He had some early speed bumps in his few starts in the MLB, but he had a few great outings. And while the numbers aren’t necessarily there yet (remember: small sample size), anybody who took the time to watch Montero pitch could vouch for his future. Montero makes the Cubs starting rotation from day one. And finally, the Cubs acquire Kevin Plawecki- the Mets #2 prospect, and the #59 in all of baseball. He’s a young catcher who has- in the minors- shown that he’s both a very good hitter AND fielder. And he’s projected to be in the majors this upcoming season.

While the Cubs aren’t acquiring Syndergaard, or deGrom, or Wheeler, or any of the “top dogs”, Niese and Montero still bolster their rotation tremendously. And then imagine that they end up with Jon Lester- who they’re pushing really hard for- then that rotation is pretty stacked. You have Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jon Niese, Rafael Montero, and one of Travis Wood, Tsuyoshi Wada, or Kyle Hendricks. That’s a really good rotation right there…

Anyway, check out what the Mets positional lineup would look like:

C: Travis d’Arnaud
1B: Lucas Duda
2B: Daniel Murphy
3B: David Wright
SS: Starlin Castro
LF: Curtis Granderson
CF: Juan Lagares
RF: Michael Cuddyer

That looks like a playoff team to me!

Let me know what you think about this potential trade in the COMMENT section! Would the Cubs do it? Should the Mets do it? Does this make the Mets a playoff team?

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