Cubs Not Moving Castro, Epstein Confirms

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has denied that his team is exploring deals for Starlin Castro, report Doug Padilla and Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago.  "Starlin Castro is the type of player we're looking to build around," Epstein said. "There has been no trade consideration with him whatsoever."

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported earlier today that the Cubs were open to dealing anyone but Jeff Samardzija from the roster, including Castro, who was reportedly available for the price of "two impact prospects."  Castro, 22, is under team control through 2016 and is arbitration-eligible for the first of four years this winter due to his Super Two status.

Padilla and Levine cite an Epstein quote from earlier in the week, where the executive said that while no player was entirely untouchable, some players "are core pieces that it's almost impossible to foresee moving. You would have to be completely blown away to even contemplate it."  Clearly it would take such a knockout trade offer for the Cubs to swap Castro, who would be the most sought-after trade chip in baseball if Chicago actually put him on the market.  It wouldn't be out of the question for the Cubs to ask for not just two major prospects in exchange, but also for a team to take Alfonso Soriano's big contract (roughly $48MM remaining through 2014) off the Cubs' hands.

26 Responses to Cubs Not Moving Castro, Epstein Confirms Leave a Reply

  1. TophersReds 3 years ago

    Nobody is going to take on Soriano’s contract AND give 2 MLB prospects.

    • baseball52 3 years ago

      For Castro?

      • TophersReds 3 years ago

        I think a team would rather give up more prospects in exchange to not have to take $50M in payroll for Soriano. I know Castro is involved, but teams like to keep their money and pay people that actually can live up to the contracts. 

        • baseball52 3 years ago

          Well, it seems like a moot point now anyways so it’s pointless to argue.

  2. jrodhard 3 years ago

    not going to trade Castro? DUH!

    • Frank Tangorra 3 years ago

      Yea I would love to know who came up with that rumor of Castro being available. Young, cheap and good. Possibly a future star.

  3. Anyone but Samardzija? Lol, I doubt that his value would get any higher than it is now. Plus he’s already 27, and is just now showing signs of being a good pitcher.

    • Ptk123 3 years ago

      And he is just now starting! Not to mention his arm hasn’t been used nearly as much as most 27 year olds in baseball!

      •  Well that’s another thing. He isn’t exactly proven as a starter after only a couple of months.

        • Ptk123 3 years ago

          True, but what he has shown so far is looking nice. Trading him isn’t going to bring us a huge package to help us in the next 3-4 years. He is a rare player in the fact he hasn’t tossed 500+ innings in the minors. Thank you college football!

    • jb226 3 years ago

      “Plus he’s already 27, and is just now showing signs of being a good pitcher.”

      Actually he was a very effective reliever as well.

      But more to the point: So what?  He’s not that expensive, and if you believe that he has actually turned the corner and turned into a good pitcher there is no reason to believe that you can’t get five or more extremely good years out of a 27 year old.

      Nobody’s suggesting a 10 year deal for him or something insane like that, so what does it matter that he’s 27?  Is his value as high as it will ever be? Possibly, but again, so what?  If they want to keep him his trade value is irrelevant.

      • cubs223425 3 years ago

        He wasn’t a very effective reliever, he was a passable one. 0.6 WAR and an ERA of 2.97 as a low-leverage reliever isn’t something to write home about.

        Also, he’s going into arbitration for the first time after this season, and he’s already making $2.6 million or so. Rather than getting a raise from maybe $600,000 like most young guys, his hearing likely starts around $5-6 million if he keeps this up. He could be a rather expensive arbitration player.

        • CowboyJames 3 years ago

          0.6 WAR for a relief pitcher is something I would take any freaking day!

          • cubs223425 3 years ago

            Yeah, maybe from your #4 reliever. There are currently 19 relievers with a WAR of 0.6 or higher, and we’re not even through one-third from the season. Heck, last season, Marmol had a WAR of 0.8, and he was so bad he lost his closer’s job.

            Last season, there were 67 relievers who had a WAR of 0.6 or higher. That simply means Samardzija would be the second-best reliever on a bad team, if relievers were spread out evenly across the league. On a good team, that’s probably your #4 reliever.

            The Red Sox were the #1 team in reliever WAR last season. Samardzija’s 0.6 WAR in 75 appearances would have ranked 4th on the Red Sox, a whole 0.1 WAR ahead of the 30 appearances from Scott Atchison and the 56 appearances of Matt Albers.

            Samardzija was a decent #4 reliever or a rather weak #3 reliever on a good team. He would have BARELY been the #2 reliever in the worst bullpen of 2011 (Houston’s -1.7 team WAR for relievers).

            If you’re excited your reliever is worth 0.6 WAR in 75 games, you’re likely the owner of a bad bullpen.

    •  I love being right.

  4. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    But does this mean we have to stop coming up with some ridiculous trade proposals? I say NAY!

    • baseball52 3 years ago

      Of course not! Obviously every team in baseball’s 2nd best prospect and some ancillary pieces is enough anyways!

  5. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    Trading Soriano with Castro would be really foolish, especially for a big market team. You’re basically exchanging prospects for cash, in the Cubs position that doesn’t help. They already have the money.

    I know a trade isn’t going to happen but it’s even more unlikely to include Soriano.

    • mikefichera 3 years ago

      the met’s did it – you’re also freeing up soriano’s contract which might be the worst in baseball.

  6. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    so after buddy goes and writes about how the cubs are considering trading castro only to be completely proven unreliable in a few short hours… does anything come from it?

    I’m so tired of these baseball analysts dropping names and unrealistic scenarios just to get attention. its all fluff

    • cubs223425 3 years ago

      Honestly, while Castro is HIGHLY unlikely to be traded, he might not have been proven unreliable. All we know now is that the Cubs would build around Castro, and that he’s not being shopped. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a scenario in which he could be had.

      By the way, I don’t support moving Castro or think any legitimate talks will occur, just saying that the guy might be semi-right.

      • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

         by that token, any player could be moved.

        • cubs223425 3 years ago

          Yep. The exception would be the one person we have been hearing is untouchable throughout–Samardzija.

  7. mikefichera 3 years ago

    mets should do this, send over tejada and mejia.

  8. Beersy 3 years ago

    Man I wish the GM Jed Hoyer could do a couple of press conferences instead of us always having to listen to Epstein.  Should of stayed in San Diego Jed.

    • Leonard Washington 3 years ago

      Yeah haha he is right back to square one.

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