NL Central Notes: Starlin, Baez, Brewers, Cards, Price

The Cubs are receiving some trade interest in Starlin Castro but don’t expect to trade him this month, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports 1. That lines up with a tweet from Newsday’s David Lennon earlier this week, when Lennon noted that Castro isn’t expected to be dealt in 2015, and the Cubs may slide him over to third base in 2015. That would be a surprise, given the organization’s wealth of third base prospects, although such a move would clear a spot for Javier Baez.

Here’s more on the Cubs and the NL Central…

  • For what it’s worth, Baez made his first professional appearance at second base in last night’s Triple-A contest, as first noted by Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register last night (on Twitter). Getting Baez some looks at second base could also clear a path for him, though the Cubs have been wowed by the early returns on fellow top prospect Arismendy Alcantara. Suffice it to say, the Cubs’ infield depth is flat out enviable.
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin spoke to reporters, including’s Adam McCalvy, and discussed the trade deadline. Melvin noted that he will have his ears open, but he isn’t fixated on the idea that making an acquisition is necessary for his team to reach the postseason. He cited a lack of availability of quality first basemen and the eventual returns of Tyler Thornburg and Jim Henderson when asked about perceived needs in the ‘pen and at first. Said Melvin: “If you can add, you add. But I like our team.”
  • Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was a guest on the Baseball Tonight podcast with Buster Olney today and discussed the Cardinals second-half needs. While he says the absence of Yadier Molina should be the team’s biggest issue, a quieter concern is how many innings they get from the rotation. Of the team’s current starters, only Lance Lynn and Adam Wainwright have shown the ability to pitch deep into games. Cardinals starters other than Lynn and Wainwright have averaged just 5 1/3 innings per start.
  • Goold also says the Cardinals know that at some point, they have to make some kind of move to address their outfield surplus. Randal Grichuk, Stephen Piscotty, James Ramsey and Oscar Taveras are all potential long-term pieces, and the team also has Peter Bourjos, Jon Jay and Allen Craig as center field/right field options. Dangling Grichuk, Piscotty, Ramsey and Taveras will get them in the conversation for a number of pitchers, he adds.
  • Goold thinks the Cardinals would be willing to at least discuss the possibility of sending Taveras to Tampa in a Price trade (though he doesn’t mention specific confirmation of that fact), but such a deal might be contingent on St. Louis securing an extension with Price. Talks between the two sides would be interesting, Goold notes, because the sides value players and value team control so similarly. Olney speculates that Price would be open to an extension with the Cards, noting the proximity of St. Louis to Price’s native Nashville.

54 Responses to NL Central Notes: Starlin, Baez, Brewers, Cards, Price Leave a Reply

  1. Kën Shrëk 12 months ago

    Castro to 2B, Baez to 3B, Bryant to RF, Alcantara to CF, Russel stays at SS

    • bigbadjohnny 12 months ago

      Soler in RF…..Bryant at 3B…….Alcantara in CF……Baez at 2B….Castro at SS……Russell, that is a 2016 nice problem to have.

  2. Karkat 12 months ago

    Too many infielders? Go to the Red Sox school of converting infield prospects to major league outfielders. Brock Holt and Mookie Betts approved!

    • stl_cards16 12 months ago

      We do it backwards here in St. Louis, everyone can play 2B here!

  3. bigbadjohnny 12 months ago

    Strop believing these NY Media reports about Castro…….the Mets don’t want to give up their top prospects, so Theo is not listening.

  4. Bertin Lefkovic 12 months ago

    Could Francisco Cervelli get me Allen Craig?


    Rizzo 1B Baez 2B Russell SS Castro 3B (Castro looks like he’s going to get bigger anyways) LF Soler CF Alcantara RF Bryant C Schwarber And not everyone pans out so

  6. CardsFan1980 12 months ago

    I hope they don’t trade Taveras for Price, if taveras would be traded I’d rather it be for Stanton from Marlin’s

    • Mike 12 months ago

      Same. I’d love to get Price, but as long as it’s the right price. Pun intended. And as long as the Cards can lock him up for the future.

      • bighiggy 12 months ago

        I would also be willing to give up taveras and allen craig for price. But he would have to sign an extension. Id even give them a sam freeman too and a greg garcia if they wanted more.

        • Mike 12 months ago

          I wouldn’t give up both of them. Craig has struggled all year, but we all know how great of a hitter he is. I’d either give up Taveras and Piscotty, or Piscotty and Craig, or maybe even James Ramsay. The Cards have a lot of Minor League OF depth, they can afford to let one of those guys go in a trade. Freeman I’d like to keep, this kid is excellent, and Greg Garcia, I wouldn’t have an issue letting go, he’d kind of blocked at 2nd base anyways.

          • bighiggy 12 months ago

            I agree about freeman but tampa bay is gonna want quite a haul for price. Would love to see the cards get price and then maybe swing another blockbuster for tulo or stanton. I know people are against giving up the farm but with our overstocked minors something has to give. Cant keep all these kids forever when they are blocked.

          • Nathan Walter 12 months ago

            Neither Stanton nor Tulowitzki will be made available. Taveras + cheap MLB bat or pitcher + 3-4 prospects would get you not only Price, but Ben Zobrist as well.

          • bighiggy 12 months ago

            Do you think they would trade us price and zobrist for a package of taveras,craig, shelby miller and some fringe prospect not in our top 20?

          • Nathan Walter 12 months ago

            I don’t know if they need to include Craig, nor do I know if Tampa Bay would go for Craig. Craig is owed $38M over the next 4 seasons (with a team option after 3).

            If St. Louis offered Tavera & Miller + fringe prospects, Tampa Bay would be idiotic to turn it down… Shelby Miller may have more upside than David Price. I don’t think Miller gets included into this deal.

          • bighiggy 12 months ago

            The only reason i would suggest shelby being included is since late last year he just hasnt looked right. He looks more like he is just throwing and not actually pitching. And the rays are alot like the cards, they are gonna want a ton for price and zobrist. I feel they would want craig because of his versatility and his contract isnt that bad if he turns it around. I honestly dont see them getting price without including a pitcher and our upper minors starters are not fairing well this year

          • Shawn Johnson 12 months ago

            Are you serious?

          • Nathan Walter 12 months ago

            (My comment I just posted is not appearing, so my apologies if this gets duplicated)

            I don’t think they want Craig… he’s owed too much over the next 4 seasons ($38M with a team option after 3)…. but if you take out Craig, I’m sure the Rays would take that deal in a heart-beat.

            Shelby Miller has a ton of upside and really wouldn’t be a massive downgrade from David Price. Although I don’t think the Cardinals are going to offer Shelby Miller. I think they’ll offer Taveras and another MLB or MLB-ready player + a lower-level big dog and maybe a fringe guy or two (most Tampa’s best prospects are in the AAA, they’ll want some young guys for long-term development)…. but I don’t think the Cardinals would deal Shelby Miller.

          • Shawn Johnson 12 months ago


          • Shawn Johnson 12 months ago

            Just how great a hitter is Craig? Lets not pretend he has been putting up great numbers for years now. He has has had seasons of 75, 119 and 134 games in which he was a valued hitter. Not exactly a proven track record. Taveras and Craig would not be close to enough to land Price. Add Piscotty, Freeman and Garcia and Tampa may take your call and start negotiations.

    • Mike 12 months ago

      Same. I’d love to get Price, but as long as it’s the right price. Pun intended. And as long as the Cards can lock him up for the future.

    • bighiggy 12 months ago

      Could you imagine stanton as a card, WOW!

      • Eric Olson 12 months ago

        Not really, Stanton is a beast but is pretty much feast-or-famine. Now Price and Zobrist together in a deal is interesting.

        • Dynasty22 12 months ago

          Stanton isn’t feast-or-famine. He’s a good hitter albeit the strikeouts. A guy like Chris Carter, that is feast-or-famine.

          • Eric Olson 12 months ago

            Well, he hasnt been feast or famine this year, but he hit .240-something last year and doesnt have a history of hitting for a high average. On the other hand, he’s only 24, so the upside’s pretty big.

          • Dynasty22 12 months ago

            He was injured last year, wasn’t he? He hit .290 the season before last year. Probably was turning a page before that injury filled year.

    • Nathan Walter 12 months ago

      We’ll get the Stanton talk out the way: Keep dreaming lol. It’ll take a helluva lot more than Oscar Taveras to draw Giancarlo Stanton from Miami.

      Now for the Price talk. I actually think St. Louis has what it takes to get not only Price, but Ben Zobrist as well… and that’s Taveras. Tampa Bay likely wants MLB-ready guys, and an MLB-ready bat is always attractive. A package of Taveras, maybe one MLB bat, and a corps of prospects may actually do the trick and it wouldn’t affect St. Louis in the slightest. I’d pull the trigger 11 times of 10.

      • Ben Cerutti 12 months ago

        Taveras is an MLB bat. You want to send him, another MLB bat and a “corps of prospects” for those two? No thanks.

        • Nathan Walter 12 months ago

          I’d be shocked if a deal from Tampa Bay wouldn’t include either Taveras or Miller… the first I trade if I’m St. Louis… the second, not at all.

  7. Brian Baker 12 months ago

    Trade Castro for pitching help.

    1B Rizzo
    2B Baez
    SS Russell
    3B Bryant

  8. GrilledCheese39 12 months ago

    I know it’s a long shot, especially since it’s in the division, and Cubs fans probably won’t like it. But, Castro and Rizzo would fit perfectly on the Pirates. They’d be cost efficient for a long time and patch a few holes for a long time. Castro is expandable because of all their infield prospects. The Cubs lack in pitching prospects so the Pirates can offer up a couple of those. Imagine a Pirates lineup of Castro/Polanco/McCutchen/Alvarez/Marte/Rizzo/Martin/Walker they could compete with anyone. And it is perfectly L/R all the way through. If all of them reach their full potential. The defense would be amazing as well, especially their outfield defense. Rizzo and Walker are consistently above average. Martin is always one of the best catchers in baseball defensively, and if Castro and Alvarez get their heads on straight, it’d be even scarier. Not sure what all they’d need to give up but the talks probably start with P Tyler Glasnow (top 20 prospect in baseball) OF Josh Bell (top 50 prospect in baseball) P Nick Kingham (top 70 prospect in baseball) and a throw in like Jeff Locke who is an MLB ready all star just last year. I think it’d be a good deal for both teams.

    • Frank Richard 12 months ago

      The cubs would be stupid to take that deal. Castro is arguable the 2nd best shortstop in the NL and Rizzo is clearly a cornerstone franchise player. Also shortstop is a high value position. The cubs could get 2 of those pitchers plus for either guy alone. We are talking about 2 all stars in their early 20s on long term team friendly deals.

    • Andrew m 12 months ago

      Rizzo is off limits, and it makes no sense for the cubs to deal him. Don’t know where your coming up with this idea that the cubs are looking to deal a young 1B on the rise who is already among the best in the league. If they want pitching prospects, they have enough in their farm to get that without Rizzo being involved.

    • Andrew m 12 months ago

      Rizzo is off limits, and it makes no sense for the cubs to deal him. Don’t know where your coming up with this idea that the cubs are looking to deal a young 1B on the rise who is already among the best in the league. If they want pitching prospects, they have enough in their farm to get that without Rizzo being involved.

    • Ben Cerutti 12 months ago

      Cubs probably still owe them from the Aramis Ramirez/Kenny Lofton giveaway back in 2003…Rizzo, and Castro for 3 junkers?

    • Eric 12 months ago

      Fangraphs just called Rizzo the 12th most valuable asset in baseball. The Pirates would need to include a hell of a lot more than that for Rizzo alone, let alone including Castro.

    • Drunken Superman 12 months ago

      This might be the worst trade idea I’ve ever seen.

  9. Jim Sinicki 12 months ago

    Wait a minute. How can Melvin say there’s no solid first basemen available. Morneau? If love to see him in brewer blue!

    • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 12 months ago

      He would be a good add for the Brewers.

    • Travis2014 12 months ago

      It would be nice, but he wont be worth the price. Rockies are going to ask way too much for him seeing he will be only be paid 5mil next year.

      Which isn’t a bad thing until you consider he has been average at best since 2010. So no thanks I don’t want a guy having a fluke year who will command prospects like he is a true hitter that can hit .300.

      And yah you could argue he isn’t suddenly bouncing back…but Doug Melvin ain’t buying that.

  10. Marcel Jenkins 12 months ago

    Funny, Because the Cubs just moved Javier Baez over to 2B.

    As much as the media doesn’t want to hear this. Starlin Castro isn’t going anywhere. He’s too valuable as a young cost-controlled SS that’s 3-years away from his prime. Unless they are absolutely blown away there is no way he gets traded now or in the future. Period.

    • Strugz 12 months ago

      I agree, there were people the other day suggesting that the Cubs matched up with the Mets for Colon and Castro. Why would the Cubs do that?

      • Frank Richard 12 months ago

        Whoever said Colon would be moved in any deal for Castro has to own a time machine to bring a 23 year old Colon. While I do think the mets and cubs match up well I don’t see Castro getting moved anytime soon unless the were presented an offer that literally wowed them.

  11. BlueCatuli 12 months ago

    I know the talk has been that the Cubs want young pitching, but I’m not so sure they are going to force that and give up their wealth of offensive talent and prospects. With offense at a premium, and the front office’s proven ability to get good pitching on the free agent market, I just don’t see the Cubs dealing away someone like Castro for young, albeit cost-controlled, unproven arms. I think the Cubs have cracked a serious market inefficiency and will continue to build on it.

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