One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. OK, so Starlin Castro wasn’t exactly trash for the Chicago Cubs in 2015 but it was clear that he could use a change of scenery. The Cubs had promoted prized shortstop Addison Russell early in the year and although Castro played at short for the remainder of the season, it was clear that Chicago preferred Russell at the position. Once the Cubs began the pursuit of Ben Zobrist, it was clear that Castro’s time at Wrigley Field was up. In fact, on the day Chicago signed Zobrist as a free agent, Castro was sent packing to the New York Yankees.
I think it is safe to say that this move has worked out well for the Bronx Bombers.
Forget the early season gaudy numbers, although they sure look pretty. He won’t have an on-base percentage above .400, never mind the .476 it is at today. However, it is clear that Castro can hit and though I wouldn’t bat him in the number three hole as was the case on Friday, his stick looks great batting seventh or eighth. There are reasons as to why acquiring Castro was pure genius. In addition to his bat, he has two factors that work out very much for the Yankees: youth and club control. He just turned 26 and when paired with shortstop Didi Gregorius, also 26, New York has their up-the-middle-slots wrapped up for the next decade. This brings up the next point. Castro is under contract through the 2019 season, with an option for 2020. He is scheduled to make a little less than $12 million dollars in 2019, not a bad number for a three-time All-Star.
Last year, the Yankee offense wilted over the last six weeks o the season. There a number of factors that contributed to this including, age, injury and underachievement. In Starlin Castro, the Yankees have a guy who is young, durable (he has routinely played over 150 games per year) and hits (he just reached 1,000 for his career). Although giving up a valuable pitcher in Adam Warren was a hefty price, the trade for Castro may go down as one of Brian Cashman’s best. The Yankees have themselves a second baseman for now and for the foreseeable future.