• Starlin Castro

    Posted by on December 8th, 2015 · Comments (24)

    Castro will be 26 years old next year and is owed like $41.4 million over the next 4 years. The Cubs have elected to replace him with a player who will be 35 years old next year and they will pay him $56 million over the next 4 years.

    So, the Cubs, over the next four years, are replacing Castro with a player who is NINE YEARS older and who will make $15 million more (over that span).

    Why would the Cubs do that? Sounds like they couldn’t wait to get rid of Castro…fast enough.

    By the way, Castro’s lifetime OPS+ is 97 (meaning below league average). And, his lifetime OBA outside of Wrigley Field is .318 in 1,935 PA.

    Granted, the Yankees did not give up much to acquire him. But, the question is: Is this their best option at 2B next year and beyond?

    Comments on Starlin Castro

    1. Evan3457
      December 9th, 2015 | 12:44 am

      Here again, as with Didi last year, the Yanks bought low on a player with talent. Maybe it’ll work. Maybe it won’t, but it’s the right kind of gamble to take.

      Lifetime OPS+ of 97 coming a bad year, with a horrible first half, and an outstanding last 40 games. The average AL secondbaseman had an OPS+ of 97 last year. If he merely duplicates his career average, he’ll be an average offensive secondbaseman.

      $41.4 million over the next 4 year requires him to be about a 2 WAR a year player, which is an average starter, to be worth more than a free agent signee would likely be.

      Is this their best option at 2B next year and beyond? That’s one question you can ask. My answer is (shrugs shoulders). Nobody’s handing out good secondbasemen for free. Here’s another question: is he better than what he had before? Probably. A 3rd one: was the price excessive? Probably not.

      A 4th question: is it a gamble? Sure it is. But it’s the right kind of gamble to take, just as Didi was, just as Eovaldi was, just as Ackley was, just as Hicks is. Are they going to hit on all of these gambles? Almost certainly not. But that’s the way to play the odds, long-term.

    2. KPOcala
      December 9th, 2015 | 1:13 am

      Castro has been above league average four out of his six years. And he was a MLB starting shortstop at age 20! He is going to be huge for the Yankees for years. Players who make the Majors at young ages, historically, have the best careers, the type that get into the HOF. I’m hardly suggesting that Castro is going to be THAT good, but hell, give Cashman (or “whoever”) in pulling off a masterful trade. A second baseman who’s gifted enough to play shortstop could easily wind up winning many gold gloves. The downside, injuries aside, is that Castro has a nervous “Ed Whitson breakdown”. IMHO, great move! Now’s the time to get an innings eater like Leake. If they could pickup someone who can give roughly 220 innings, they could be back in the fight. At worst, they could have a hell of a young core of players by ’17, and go on a Run……

    3. December 9th, 2015 | 8:38 am

      Yeah, let’s ignore headlines like this one:

      Chicago Cubs’ Benching of Starlin Castro Changed Team From Pretender to Contender

      http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2015/08/15/chicago-cubs-benching-of-starlin-castro-changed-team-from-pretender-to-contender/

    4. December 9th, 2015 | 9:40 am

      There’s also this side to this newly acquired player:

      http://deadspin.com/starlin-castro-arrested-in-dominican-republic-after-nig-1675596404

    5. Raf
      December 9th, 2015 | 10:25 am

      Given some of the players the Yankees have employed, I’m not as worried about character issues.

      I’m more curious about where Refsnyder and Ackley fit on the roster.

    6. Raf
      December 9th, 2015 | 10:28 am

      Also, I’m sure you guys remember that Maddon likes guys like Zobrist and Ryan, for the flexibility and defense they provide.

    7. December 9th, 2015 | 11:48 am

      Raf wrote:

      I’m more curious about where Refsnyder and Ackley fit on the roster.

      Ackley will fill in all over – 1B/OF/DH and maybe some 2B. Refsnyder will probably return to AAA and play 2B/OF there.

    8. KPOcala
      December 9th, 2015 | 1:56 pm

      @ Steve L.:
      Totally exonerated by videos…..

    9. KPOcala
      December 9th, 2015 | 2:05 pm

      @ Steve L.:Seems like a fellow named “Cano” had “attitude” for a time. Change of scenery and some Yankee mentors may settle him down. And let’s not forget that he plays a LOT of games, so he has the “health” skill. Let’s not forget that he was the darling of baseball men when he broke in, and was signed to a pretty big contract to avoid arbitration years. I believe he was only 22. Most guys at that age are still in, maybe, A ball, or getting out of college. Time will tell, no? In the meantime for a pitcher that can’t break into the rotation (CC should be the long man, but….) and a great but increasingly brittle glove man the Yanks made a, most likely, killer deal…

    10. Evan3457
      December 9th, 2015 | 5:30 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Yeah, let’s ignore headlines like this one:
      Chicago Cubs’ Benching of Starlin Castro Changed Team From Pretender to Contender
      http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2015/08/15/chicago-cubs-benching-of-starlin-castro-changed-team-from-pretender-to-contender/

      …and in not ignoring headlines like that, let’s also not ignore that he started the day before that article was written, and the Cubs won, that he started the next two games, that he started 2/3 of the Cubs’ games after August 23rd, that he started and went all the way in all nine of the Cubs’ post-season games, and that the Cubs record after he got his job back (28-14) was better than it had been before that (71-51).

      Of course, that last part might have something to do with the fact that he was having a brutally bad season (.240/.273/.306) before he got benched (Gee; a player getting benched for not hitting. What a concept!) and that he hit a ton after he got back in the lineup (.366/.390/643).

    11. Evan3457
      December 9th, 2015 | 5:33 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      There’s also this side to this newly acquired player:
      http://deadspin.com/starlin-castro-arrested-in-dominican-republic-after-nig-1675596404

      …and then there’s this headline:
      http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-starlin-castros-agent-denies-arrest-report-in-club-shooting-20141227-story.html
      Please note that the agent claims he was cleared after video of the incident showed he wasn’t involved.

    12. Evan3457
      December 9th, 2015 | 5:35 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      I’m more curious about where Refsnyder and Ackley fit on the roster.
      Ackley will fill in all over – 1B/OF/DH and maybe some 2B. Refsnyder will probably return to AAA and play 2B/OF there.

      That makes sense, unless Refsnyder is traded.

    13. Evan3457
      December 10th, 2015 | 6:39 am

      The Justin Wilson deal, on the other hand…I can’t see any sensible reason for it, unless it’s the precursor to another deal.

    14. Bobtaco
      December 10th, 2015 | 1:49 pm

      https://twitter.com/thekapman/status/592431906601439234

      Only players post 1961 w/1000 hits by age 25. Starlin Castro could join this season. A-Rod Yount Cedeno E. Renteria Alomar Griffey Cabrera

    15. KPOcala
      December 10th, 2015 | 2:30 pm

      @ Bobtaco:Pretty safe bet, he needs 9 hits 😉

    16. LMJ229
      December 13th, 2015 | 12:09 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The Justin Wilson deal, on the other hand…I can’t see any sensible reason for it, unless it’s the precursor to another deal.

      Makes absolutely no sense to me. I’d like to know what Cashman was thinking.

    17. KPOcala
      December 13th, 2015 | 12:46 am

      The Yankees could have Prime Age Joe Morgan and Gossage, but w/o an effective 220 inning pitcher, or two, they will go nowhere. We just watched how an ineffective rotation ate away the Yank’s bullpen. I’m happy that Hal is making making a few extra million by not buying an arm, but still, would it kill HIM to shell out some considering the money coming off the books? Hal’s “strategy” is very flawed, both in terms of making money, and fielding a top team. Hal, Levine, & Company make me sick with their “ceiling” excuses.

    18. December 13th, 2015 | 10:01 am

      The only thing I can think of on the Justin Wilson deal is that there’s a backstory. Maybe he’s a drunk, racist or a general pain in the ass where the wanted him out of town? Either that or he started dating Louise Meanwell.

    19. LMJ229
      December 13th, 2015 | 12:00 pm

      I like the Castro deal. Sorry to see Warren go though – his versatility and effectiveness in multiple roles made him a vital addition to our pitching staff. He will be hard to replace. The loss of Warren and Wilson weakens an area that was our greatest strength last year. And, as has been pointed out, we have way too many starters that don’t give us length so a strong bullpen is vital to our success. Personally, I would have kept Wilson and tried to add another strong bullpen piece or an innings-eater starter. I can see the Yanks going after Aroldis Chapman now. The Reds have always like Gardner. And Chapman should be much cheaper now that most teams have backed away from him. Not that I like that deal but I wouldn’t put it past them.

    20. LMJ229
      December 13th, 2015 | 1:15 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      The only thing I can think of on the Justin Wilson deal is that there’s a backstory. Maybe he’s a drunk, racist or a general pain in the ass where the wanted him out of town? Either that or he started dating Louise Meanwell.

      Haha. I’m thinking it’s more likely they see Lindgren as a better – and cheaper – option. Not sure I agree with that as Lindgren is much too erratic for my tastes.

    21. Evan3457
      December 13th, 2015 | 5:46 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Steve L. wrote:
      The only thing I can think of on the Justin Wilson deal is that there’s a backstory. Maybe he’s a drunk, racist or a general pain in the ass where the wanted him out of town? Either that or he started dating Louise Meanwell.
      Haha. I’m thinking it’s more likely they see Lindgren as a better – and cheaper – option. Not sure I agree with that as Lindgren is much too erratic for my tastes.

      Not sure if Lindgren was erratic because he’s erratic or if he was erratic because he was injured.

    22. LMJ229
      December 14th, 2015 | 1:38 am

      The more I think about the Wilson deal the more frustrated I get. Cashman always speaks of “incremental improvements”. Hal always insists that he is committed to winning. How, exactly, does the Wilson deal Improve the team? Hal seems much more committed to the bottom line than he is to winning.

    23. Raf
      December 28th, 2015 | 5:50 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I can see the Yanks going after Aroldis Chapman now.

      Ha!

    24. LMJ229
      December 29th, 2015 | 3:43 am

      @ Raf:
      Yeah, too bad I didn’t play the lottery that day, didn’t realize how clairvoyant I was! 🙂

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