starlin-castro

Starlin Castro #14 of the New York Yankees fields a ball for an out in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on September 29, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

By Brendan Kuty

Starlin Castro, the Yankees‘ talented but inconsistent second baseman, was on the chopping block this offseason, according to a report from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

The report said the Yankees let teams know Castro was available. It added that the Yankees, too, were open to dealing third baseman Chase Headley and left fielder Brett Gardner. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has previously said offers for Headley and Gardner were unsatisfactory.

A few things:

1.) Not a total surprise: Castro wasn’t a total bust last season. His strike zone discipline is still bad. His defense at second base wasn’t very good. But he hit for more power (21 homers) than expected and he’s only 26 years old. Still, the Yankees reportedly looked for a replacement at the trade deadline. While talking to the Giants about reliever Andrew Miller, the Yankees asked for second baseman Joe Panik. The Giants thought that was too steep a price.

2.) No clear backup: Say Castro either gets traded without bringing in another second baseman or gets hurt. Who’s the obvious pick to play second in his absence? The Yankees would probably prefer to give the job to Rob Refsnyder, who’s bat has more oomph than Ronald Torreyes. But he’d be a bigger defensive liability than Castro, which means it wouldn’t be a lock. Donovan Solano is also at Triple-A. Gleyber Torres, the team’s top shortstop prospect, looked smooth at second base in the Arizona Fall League but hasn’t played an inning above High-A.

3.) The Yankees are still pushing Castro: Near the end of last season, Cashman told reporters he believes Castro’s a better player than what he showed in 2016. “He’s come in here and he’s been a spark plug for us with power and production. He’s got great hit ability but I think there’s more potential there. I’m excited by what he’s done and what he’s going to do going forward,” the general manager said.

 

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