Need a SS? Starlin Castro is available

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Cubs will trade SS Starlin Castro, but he will cost one of your best young pitching prospects, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking.

It makes sense for the Mets and Cubs to contact one another, since the Mets are widely praised for  their pitching prospects, while having no impact hitters. The Cubs are the opposite, looking to trade a bat or two to restock their pitching.

Starlin CastroI’m told Castro is available, but Chicago is most interested in hard-throwing, power pitchers, such as Cardinals RHP Shelby Miller or Mets RHP Zack Wheeler.

Castro, 23, was expected to hit .300 with 15 HR and 30 stolen bases, following an exciting 2012. Instead, he totally imploded. He walked less, struck out more, made significantly less contact, and struggled in the field. He entered the year among the top shortstops and young players in baseball. Today, he’s a total mystery.

Sound familiar, Ruben Tejada?

Castro has a much higher ceiling than Tejada, as he’s a proven All-Star with a more adept bat, but their careers have taken similar paths with disaster seasons following promising showings. Maybe a change of scenery could help both players.

Castro is still going to be a sleeper, though. Teams are going to be interested, and I hope the Mets are among them. I mean, even at his worse, Castro was better than what the Mets had at shortstop last season. And at his best, he’s significantly better than Tejada’s best season. Castro is just not worth Wheeler or Shelby right now… not even close.