August 18: The Mets would prefer to deal for Cubs SS prospect Addison Russell over Starlin Castro, a source close to the situation told columnist John Harper (Daily News, Aug. 18).
Russell is expected to be major-league ready at some point next season, according to Harper.
Matthew Cerrone: It was a year ago that I first heard from friends at Wrigley Field that Castro would cost at least Zack Wheeler, who had made just 10 or so big-league starts at the time of the conversation. In talking to people at Citi Field this past weekend, it seems that hasn’t changed. I still think Castro costs Wheeler, and probably Kevin Plawecki and Steven Matz, or some sort of combination like that. Russell, on the other hand, would probably need to be Noah Syndergaard and other pitching. In the end, it’s going to come down to who the Cubs intend to keep, deal, and what type of pitching window they’re looking to fill. This will be the dominant discussion on this blog all winter, no doubt…
August 16: In a deal with the Cubs, SS Javier Baez might be the most realistic acquisition for the Mets, a source familiar with Sandy Alderson’s plans said Friday (ESPN, Aug. 15).
The Cubs had two scouts watching Noah Syndergaard‘s start earlier this month, according to a recent report by columnist Andy Martino (Daily News, Aug. 8).
The Mets are reportedly looking to acquire either a shortstop or left fielder in trade this winter, and Baez is considered to be among the best hitting prospects in baseball, according to a recent list by MLB.com. In addition, their big-league shortstop Castro, is hitting .286 with 13 HR and again made the All-Star team this year at just 24 years old.
Castro and Baez were both in Chicago’s starting lineup Friday night against the Mets at Citi Field.
Castro has been the subject of trade rumors since Chicago acquiredRussell from Oakland in early July; after which an anonymous member of the Mets said Castro would be a perfect fit for the Mets (Daily News, July 7).
“I know I can be a good player and I know a lot of teams can want me, but I’m here and I don’t want to leave here,” Castro told a gathering of New York reporters at Citi Field on Friday (Daily News, Aug. 16). “I think I can do more than this. I think I’ve got very good talent. I’m learning a lot. I know a lot more about this game, you know. I think I can keep playing and I think I can have a better season every year. I think I have my mind right and just be here every day and show who I am.”