Cubs Trade Rumors: 9 Reasons the Cubs Shouldn't Trade Starlin Castro
Fantasy trade packages involving every team's super prospects are spread across the Internet involving Chicago Cubs All-Star Starlin Castro. But don't get your hopes up. In fact, it's time to come back down to Earth.
Mental miscues or not, there is no reason to give up on Castro and trade the shortstop of the present and future.
Talking heads and fans are infatuated with trades that could help the Cubs compete in 2014 and beyond. Welcome to the age of 24-hour social media.
The overreaction needs to stop. Here are nine reasons why the Cubs shouldn't trade Castro.
He's a Fan Favorite
There are three good reasons to pay to watch the Cubs this season: beer, Starlin Castro and the other team.
Expect things to get even worse after the trade deadline.
The seats remain full in Wrigley because of the young shortstop. Fans honestly believe, as they should, that they are watching something special every time he steps to the plate.
With the trade deadline looming, and the Cubs being inevitable sellers, Castro will find himself playing amongst Triple-A talent. Without him, there's no reason for anyone to buy a ticket until 2014.
Baseball is a business. Numbers aside for Castro, Tom Ricketts still needs fans in the seats. It's a much tougher task without No. 13.
Farm System Loses Credibility
It's not hard to blame sixth overall pick Albert Almora for saying (per CBS Chicago), "My first priority is college."
Take a look at the history of Cubs draft picks, and you'll be hard-pressed to find many stars.
Whether it's the draft process or development, the North Side doesn't offer an awful lot of promise for new draftees or young Central Americans when signing with the club.
Castro is a glimmer of hope. The Chicago Cubs was his first professional organization, and he's developed into an All-Star there. He's a reason for prospects to believe in the farm system and what the Cubs are doing.
If Castro is moved, it's just another lost cause in the poor history of player development in Chicago.
He's Still a "Prospect"
Everyone seems quick to forget that Castro, 22, is still just a prospect himself.
No one his age has ever mastered the game. How much is there truly to gain by trading one 22-year-old in the majors, for a 19 or 20-year-old in the minors?
He has the advantage over every prospect the Cubs could receive in return. He has experience, All-Star berths and plenty of room to grow.
For those that are quick to blast Castro for mental errors, fielding errors or a low on-base percentage, please remember that he is just a kid. He was thrown into the biggest spotlight in baseball with the most pressure.
He's fully aware of the Felix Pies the Cubs have had. He's also aware of this little World Series drought the Cubs are in. It's not the best situation for a 22-year-old, but it's getting better.
The road to success starts with him.
His Issues Are Fixable
The benefit of being young is you get to refine your skills in the lower levels without the pressures the spotlight can bring.
Such is the case in any instance. Whether it's the errors you make in high school before you get to college. Or perhaps as an intern before leading a company.
Castro, on the other hand, is refining his skills at the biggest stage.
His mistakes come against the best in the world.
It's not time to give up on a shortstop who led the league with 29 errors last season. It's not time to give up on a shortstop who's second in errors this season with nine.
Imagine the Colts giving up on Peyton Manning after he led the NFL in interceptions his rookie season?
His glove will improve, as will his patience. But these are the repercussions of being thrown directly into the fire.
Lengthens the Rebuilding Process
As previously stated, if you think Cubs fans are impatient now, imagine how they would feel without a single member of the major league roster being a part of the long-term solution?
Besides Jeff Samardzija and maybe Matt Garza, everyone else is just duct tape holding the organization together.
And when they say that duct tape fixes everything, they didn't mean the Cubs.
You're trading a major league ready prospect for two or three prospects who are likely years away from possibly contributing. Possibly.
Take your guarantee in Castro and be happy that there's a piece of the foundation already in place.
Shortstops Are Hard to Find
Look at the list of outfielders. There's plenty to be satisfied with.
How about first basemen or starting pitchers? Almost every team has more than serviceable options at each.
But shortstops? Not so much.
Who's elite? Is Derek Jeter still? I'd struggle to agree. Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes? Probably. Asdrubal Cabrera? Maybe on his way.
The point being, you can count the elite shortstops on one hand. The Cubs have one of their own in Castro who is well on his way, breathing down the neck of both Tulowitzki and Reyes.
Who are the Cubs receiving in return? Likely a starting pitcher and perhaps an outfielder or two. But with newly drafted Almora, Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur and perhaps Jorge Soler, shortstop seems more of a need than an outfielder.
Young starting pitchers also come with a risk. No one knows that better than the Cubs.
Can't Get Enough in Return
If Castro is moved, it's likely going to be to a contender with a deep farm system. But is there a realistic package that Theo and Co. would actually pull the trigger on?
Although Tampa Bay has a hole at shortstop, they won't part with Matt Moore.
The Orioles wouldn't dare rid themselves of Dylan Bundy.
Kenny DeJohn mentions here that Detroit Tigers starter Jacob Turner could be a return for Castro. But Turner isn't as good as advertised, and can be had for less. His name was often brought up in talks for Matt Garza, who's less valuable than Castro.
Turner currently has an ERA over four in his five starts in Triple-A Toledo. Castro has a chance to be the best shortstop in baseball. Turner may never be the best pitcher on his own team.
There just isn't any package good enough to get rid of Castro.
He Doesn't Have to Be the Best Player
The good thing about the sport of baseball is you never have to do it alone.
Starting pitchers, at best, can only win once every five games.
A hitter can only guarantee scoring himself every at bat.
Castro won't have to do everything alone. In fact, he doesn't even have to be the Cubs' best player.
That can be Anthony Rizzo, Samardzija, Garza or Almora down the line. In a perfect world, it would be all of them.
His unreal expectations will drop once he gets help at the big league level, help that will last in the major leagues longer than a Kim Kardashian marriage.
Right now he's expected to carry the team. But when help arrives, there will be nothing wrong with his 200 hits, .300 batting average and 20-plus steals.
He's Flat-out Good
In case everyone forget during these trade rumors, Starlin Castro is good.
If you don't believe me, or if a bad throw or mental error gives you amnesia to what he provides, here's some proof.
He's second among MLB shortstops to only Derek Jeter in hits this season after leading the league last season—at 21 years old.
He leads all shortstops with four triples, and is second in RBI (32) and stolen bases (15). His batting average (310) is good for third.
Why would you trade an asset like that and at his age?
I'm chalking it up to the dog days of summer in Chicago and just looking for a reason to talk about the Cubs.