Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon told Starlin Castro that the struggling 25-year-old isn’t going anywhere at the trade deadline.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting traded. Just relax and play. And don’t worry about this stuff.'”
As the rumors have swirled around the Cubs as we approach the July 31 trade deadline, Castro has been the name mentioned most as one who might be on the way out. If what Maddon says is true –it most likely is– then this means that if the Cubs are going to make a big trade, it’s going to be sans Castro. This is important because Castro was someone who Cubs fans were willing to part with, and was someone who was thought to maybe curb the cost of high-level prospects should a deal materialize. Even if a change of scenery ends up doing him good, Cubs fans seem perfectly willing to let it happen. They’ve seen him roll over on one too many ground balls to third.
And the numbers have been as ugly as advertised. His line of .237/.271/.305 is awful. Though Castro has had down years before –2013 specifically– the numbers never got this bad. His OPS (.576) is 55 points lower than his worst season (.631). It’s 141 points lower than his career average (.717). His defense is not on the upswing as it had been last season, instead it has seen him bobble more routine plays, execute fewer and fewer double plays, and put himself in a situation where he is virtually offering no upside in any facet of his game. The only thing he offers is the glimmer of hope that he has proved to be better than this.
It would seem that the Cubs apparent decision to not trade Castro has more to do with them understanding trade values than it does them having some deeply rooted connection to the maligned shortstop. Even if Castro were to be included in a trade, his current performance would all but guarantee the return would be almost zilch. As Cubs fans, we’d like to believe that Castro has the value of the .292/.339/.438 hitter we saw in 2014, and that others team should have to pay a price worthy of that performance. But, alas, they will not.
So, for now, Starlin Castro remains the untraded shortstop of the Chicago Cubs.