Updates from Friday, July 18
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports has the latest on Castro:
Castro, 24, has been the subject of trade rumors for quite some time now, despite yet another quality season from him at the plate. Provided the Cubs are once again cellar-dwellers, though, it makes sense that any and all players come up in rumors.
Especially when Chicago's front office makes things worse by acquiring 2012 first-round pick Addison Russell, a shortstop at 20 years of age who is one of the most coveted at his position among all prospects. He joined on via the trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland, per ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers.
Of course, the Cubs sound like they have little interest in moving Castro, as illustrated by Newsday's David Lennon:
Holding on to Castro still makes loads of sense. He's due $5.8 million this year, a number that escalates by $1 million each season through 2019, per Spotrac. His career numbers, while a small sample size, are great:
But what about the other moving pieces, of which there are plenty? As Lennon muses, Castro could very much move to third base next season to make room for Russell.
One problem: The Cubs also have one of the best prospects in the country at third base in Kris Bryant, although he could very well still be a candidate to play in the outfield.
For his part, Castro seems content with the Cubs no matter where he has to play and is especially fond of fellow young star Anthony Rizzo.
"It's real good for us, especially since we both had a down year last year," Castro told CBS Sports' Matt Snyder. "I love being here with Anthony. He's a great teammate and a great person. We do things together a lot, hang out a lot and it's going to be good to be his teammate for a long time."
If all of the above sounds like the Cubs have a good problem, that's because they do. Castro is another young piece the front office is using to build for the future, although the allure of a trade certainly has to be strong.