Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Starlin Castro to the Tigers?

By Sean Gagnier

It's probably safe to say that the Chicago Cubs will not be winning much of anything this season, and because of that, they will most likely be sellers at the trade deadline to try to build up their stockpiles of young talent. Chicago has plenty of talent available that is enticing enough that other teams will come calling; Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster and Alfonso Soriano.

One player that has long been on the Cubs "untouchable" list is Starlin Castro, their phenom short stop. But with the Cubs in need of young talent to restock the club, Castro could prove to be just too much of a cash cow for them not to use.

Castro would bring in top prospects into the Cubs organization and General Manager Theo Epstein has shown in Boston that he is not afraid to trade talent to get talent back. The 22-year-old short stop will more than likely have his name come up many times before the trade deadline passes, and if the team that mentions his name is willing to offer enough for him, then the Cubs could part ways with Castro.

A player the caliber of Castro would require at least two top-tier prospects to begin to grease the wheels, it may take even more to land him. ESPN's Buster Olney says that the number of prospects that Castro could be worth will depend on where other teams see him playing defensively in the future. Olney says that during his time at short stop he is making too many mistakes, but his bat is a plus at the position. Should the teams think to move Castro to third base, his defensive numbers improve but his bat becomes only average at the position.

But as of now the Cubs are playing Castro at short stop and that is most likely what he will continue to play; at short stop just about every team would be able to make room for him, including the Detroit Tigers. Detroit has been rumored to have been in contact with Epstein since he made the trip from Boston in regards to acquiring RHP Matt Garza.

Garza could easily slip into the second or third spot in the Tigers pitching rotation and give them a boost, but it would be irresponsible for Detroit to not inquire about the availability of Castro. While a deal for Garza was rumored to take top-prospect Jacob Turner and current right fielder Brennan Boesch; a deal for both Garza and Castro would take just about everything the Tigers have in the farm system.

With Detroit's farm system as lean as it is a deal for Garza and Castro would more than likely take Turner, Boesch, top positional prospect Nick Castellanos and catching prospect Rob Brantly. The cost may be staggering for the Tigers, but if they truly are in a win now type of situation, then this is a deal that could likely happen.

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