The Yankees and Cubs have agreed to a trade that will send Starlin Castro to New York, pending medical reviews. The deal will also see right-hander Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan (listed as a player to be named later) heading to the Cubs.
Castro, 26 in March, is a three-time All-Star that struggled mightily for much of the 2015 campaign but had a strong finish to the season and an even better showing in the playoffs. Overall, Castro batted .265/.296/.375 last season, marking the second time in the past three seasons in which he’s delivered a well-below average output on offense. However, the 2014 campaign was excellent, as Castro batted .292/.339/.438 with 14 home runs. The Yankees will be counting on Castro to look more like his 2014 and the late-2015 versions of himself over the course of the next four seasons that remain on his contract.
A total of $38MM remains on the seven-year, $60MM contract extension Castro signed three years ago. With the Yankees, he will, presumably, step in as the everyday second baseman for the foreseeable future. His addition calls into question what the Yanks will do with incumbent second basemen Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder, who had previously been slated to platoon in 2016. While one could remain on the roster as a utility option, it’s tough to envision the club keeping both players and Castro on the active roster next year.
Warren, 28, will give the Cubs a right-hander that was one of the more valuable swingmen in the game last season. The former fourth-round pick appeared in 43 games for the Yankees, making 17 starts and 26 relief appearances en route to a career-high 131 1/3 innings. In that time, Warren posted a 3.29 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 45.2 percent ground-ball rate. Those numbers are more or less commensurate with the production he delivered from 2013-14 while working almost exclusively out of the bullpen (101 relief appearances, two starts) and can be a reasonable expectation for him going forward. (If anything, one could perhaps forecast slightly better results due to the move to the National League.) He can be controlled for another three years in arbitration.
Ryan, 34 in March, exercised his $1MM player option this offseason. Ryan has not been terribly productive since coming to New York, taking just 289 plate appearances and compiling a poor .201/.244/.271 batting line over his three years with the team. Still, he is valued most for his glove and he can contribute at second base and in other infield roles.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter) and ESPN’s Buster Olney (on Twitter) first reported that Castro was New York-bound. YES Network’s Jack Curry (Twitter link) reported that Adam Warren and a PTBNL were going to the Cubs. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweeted that the PTBNL was Brendan Ryan. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.