According to Jon Morosi, the Chicago Cubs have discussed shortstop Starlin Castro with the San Diego Padres.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 27, 2015
The most likely name associated with “San Diego starting pitchers” would lead you to James Shields, as Tyson Ross would presume to be astronomically priced. And as Morosi adds, financially speaking, a deal involving Castro and Shields would balance out.
Morosi also reports that the Cubs have interest in outfielder Will Venable (.247/.318/.390). Venable is no offensive stud, but, sadly, those numbers are actually better than Castro’s (.233/.268/.302).
Shields hasn’t been terrible for San Diego (8-3, 3.77 ERA), but hasn’t justified the money the Padres gave to him (4 years, $75 million), though Shields is only being paid $10 million this season. That number jumps to $21 million for the next three seasons.
What is strange about Shields is how different his numbers are from his normal output. He’s holding the highest K/9 of his career (10.23), but also the highest BB/9 (3.34). His FIP is over four (4.12) for the first time since 2010, and his WHIP is 1.32. Lastly, his WAR is a disappointing 0.9 –lowest of his career.
Despite the performance, Cubs fans would probably still consider it a deal if Castro was the only major piece that would have to move.