The Cubs will soon deal with a roster crunch, writes Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald. The returns of catcher Miguel Montero and infielder Tommy La Stella from the disabled list will force additional moves. Montero joined the lineup today. No transaction was necessary because David Ross was temporarily moved to the bereavement list. LaStella could return to the team tomorrow or Tuesday.
As GM Jed Hoyer pointed out, a deep roster meshes with manager Joe Maddon’s disposition. The young players on the roster are showing some signs of fatigue in their first major league season. Additional depth along with Maddon’s penchant for tinkering should keep everybody fresher. As for who might go, Chicago has already said that prospect Kyle Schwarber will remain with the team. It’s just my guess, but I suspect Jonathan Herrera and Matt Szczur will wind up holding the short straws.
Here’s more from the Central divisions:
- The Cubs have removed Starlin Castro from the starting lineup with Addison Russell sliding over to shortstop. If Castro is asked to play another position, he would request to speak with front office personnel, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. Per Levine, Maddon prefers to have one shortstop rather than a rotation. With La Stella returning soon and Schwarber getting pushed to the outfield by the return of Montero, Castro may see limited playing time in the weeks ahead.
- The Twins have been scouting Cuban talent, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN. Yesterday, representatives of the club attended a showcase in the Dominican Republic. Outfielder Yusniel Diaz was the headliner per Wolfson. The 18-year-old was viewed as the probable Rookie of the Year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, but he defected immediately after the season. He is subject to international spending limits. The Twins will also watch pitcher Yasiel Sierra today. Sierra, 23, will be exempt from the international bonus pool once he’s declared a free agent.
- Brewers pitching prospect Taylor Williams will have Tommy John surgery, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He’ll likely miss the entire 2016 season. Williams, a 2013 fourth round pick, entered the year as the 11th ranked prospect in the Brewers system per FanGraphs’ Kiley McDaniel. Over the last two seasons, he has a 3.09 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 174 innings split between the lower minors. He did not appear this year.
- The Tigers have shuffled their front office titles following the promotion Al Avila to GM, tweets Jason Beck of MLB.com. David Chadd is now the new Assistant GM, and Scott Bream will now serve as VP of Player Personnel.
What if the Phillies and Cubs worked something around around Castro and Utley.
Chase Utley and Jesse Biddle for Castro?
Phillies buy low on a guy who would go play 3B, and the Phillies can keep Cesar Hernandez in the lineup every day to play 2B, not having to worry about Utley, and clear up Jesse Biddle’s 40 man roster spot without just DFA’ing him.
Cubs clear about 35M in payroll, add a high risk, high upset starter in Biddle who could fight for a rotation spot/ take Woods’ swingman spot in the bullpen next year, add Utley who they have said to have interest in, and get rid of Castro which allows Russell to play SS everyday, which is what they want.
1. Odubel CF
2. Castro 3B
3. Hernandez 2B
4. Franco 1B
5. Brown/Frenchy RF
6. Altherr/Asche LF
7. Galvis SS
Before people start telling me that why would the Phillies trade away a prospect for Castro, note that Biddle needs an organization change if he wants to be successful.
That makes way too much sense for Amaro to go for it..
Edit: Plus, I am not sure if Castro has enough bat for 3rd base.. Also, I think Castro has convinced himself that he is one of the premier SS in baseball.. Those all star selections have gone to his head..
Phillies don’t really have a ton at 3B in the system, Franco’s dWAR has been bad this year at 3B, making me think he’ll be a better 1B, plus he has the bat to stick there.
Castro could also become a trade chip later. I think his bat just needs to come back around, and playing in a playoff race with the player that the team deemed SS of the future playing 2B with you, mixed with a front office who is trying to trade you, isn’t going to help him mentally.
Larry Bowa won’t settle for laziness in the infield. Philly offers him a spot to play every day, with no worries about anyone else taking your spot, in low pressure situations.
Charlie Manuel always said if you take a decent bat and put them in a good situation, suddenly they are a good bat.
A change of teams could do Castro very well.
That seems reasonable. However, I’d hate to see the Cubs sell low on Castro because he still has crazy good hitting ability somewhere in his body.
Biddie wouldn’t make it past like Brewers,Rockies and so on. First Howard has to be moved for Franco to play 1B and Ruf can play it. Scour already sent to Minors. Other Teams would claim Castro if Phillies don’t.
Phillies have first crack at claiming Castro off waivers, Howard is just waiting to get DFA’d at this point. 18 HR is nice, but hes barely hitting .220, with mediocre defense and a bad approach. They wouldn’t stop a trade just to keep Howard happy.
Ruf is an AAAA player who honestly doesn’t even deserve a spot on the Phillies bench right now.
Biddle has fallen off the map of many teams to this point. Wouldn’t shock me if he could make it to the Cubs off waivers. Even if he gets claimed, the Phillies could always just pull him back then offer a Tom Windle, who doesn’t need to make it through waivers.
Castro is a bit touchy. He wants to play SS. Also, long term Crawford is the future for Philly at SS.
That said, this move makes some sense as Phillies could rehab his value in a hitter’s park and maybe move him when the time comes.
Cubs have a real problem brewing with Castro. Russell has been better and deserves to play short. Castro’s bat this year is not good enough to play anywhere.
The Phillies don’t need his bat to be good enough to play else where. Just stick him at 3B and hope he builds up value with his bat. Take the pressure off him. Crawford has been struggling at AA and probably won’t be up until the end of 2016, if not 2017.
Vandals Took The Handles
The guy is a moody player that doesn’t want to play 3B with the Cubs. But he’s going to be happy to play it with the Phillies?
That would be a great deal for both sides. Castro is still young.
Put casto at first or third. Let him go to first, beef up, and hit home runs. That’s what he likes to do anyhow.
Vandals Took The Handles
The Twins have position players. They’d best start looking for some pitchers. 6-14 since the All-Star break and losing tonight. That pitching staff has been awful.
When Phil Hughes is the ace of your staff and your #2 gets a PED suspension you are in trouble.. The Twins outplayed their roster all year and seem to finally be coming back down to earth.. They will go on quite a run in another couple of years but their young players are not quite ready.. They should have been sellers at the deadline and could have acquired some very good prospects.. I bet the Yankees would have sold the farm (and rightfully so) for Dozier without their fan base raising too much of a stink.. Judge would have been perfect to take over for Hunter and Sanchez should be ready by mid 2016 if not sooner.. It just seems that the Yankees top prospects play the positions where Minnesota lacks prospect depth (C, OF).. Once again I apologize for one of my off topic rants..
I’m a little surprised if Castro really said that. It flies completely in the face of what he said last year when it was Baez who was about to come up. From a Comcast Sportsnet article:
“So what if Renteria comes to Castro and tells him he would like to play Baez at shortstop and that Castro needs to change positions? The two-time All-Star says he is on board with whatever helps the Chicago Cubs win games.
‘Yes, whatever it takes,’ Castro said. ‘If I need to move positions, I’m OK with that. If he is on our team and him being there helps the team win, then I am fine with that. I just want our team to win. That’s it.'”
That was when he was having a very good year with the bat and there was very little chance of him actually moving.. I doubt he would say the same thing this year with Russell being obviously superior.. Castro has all the tools and has proven that he can be quite valuable.. He just seems to lack the mental makeup.. If/when he gets traded if he goes to a team like San Diego with little to no competition I bet his bat makes a dramatic return..
Edit: Preller should be chasing him hard.. He would be a solid candidate for a turn around season next year and it could go a long way to saving Preller’s job.. He has shown a willingness for rehab projects already with his acquisition of Middlebrooks..
I have to think Castro and the roughly 4/$42mm owed to him starting next year would be tough to trade right now. Especially if the Cubs end up sitting him on the bench. I think the Cubs would have to include a prospect to help offset the contract or agree to pay a decent amount of what’s owed to him at this point.
The Cubs were playing a game of poker up until the trade deadline. Benching Castro or moving him to another position would have shown weakness and possibly viewed by others as a sign of desperation. By keeping him in the lineup every day and saying positive things about Castro (work ethic, etc.) in the media, the Cubs hoped to show a strong hand come trade deadline. Unfortunately, nobody bought into it enough for Theo to move him. His poor play defensively and lack of improvement at the plate was too glaring. Everyone called their bluff. Weak hand exposed. Now, Plan B is in effect. Getting him out of the lineup puts this team in a much better situation to reach the playoffs. We’re already seeing the positive results of a Castro-less Cubs lineup. The irony is despite his disappointing season, the at bats he has accumulated throughout the season could pay dividends down the stretch as a pinch hitter. At the very least, he upgrades the bench.
Castro and Wada to the Padres for James Shields, Pads would need to throw in a little bit of money to make it work.