Cubs

Does a Starlin Castro trade make sense for Cubs and Yankees?

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Does a Starlin Castro trade make sense for Cubs and Yankees?

Starlin Castro’s name figures to be in trade rumors throughout the offseason, and the New York Daily News delivered Friday morning by reporting the Yankees had discussed a Brett Gardner trade with the Cubs as part of their wide-ranging talks involving the All-Star outfielder.

The Daily News adjusted its reporting hours later, spiking the idea of a Castro-for-Gardner deal.

If the Yankees move Gardner, an industry source said, the belief is they will want a lower-cost player to create more financial flexibility as part of an overall youth movement within the final years of the Alex Rodriguez/Mark Teixeira/CC Sabathia megadeals.

Castro, who has notched 991 career hits before his 26th birthday, is guaranteed $38 million across the next four seasons and coming off a strong finish to this year, helping the Cubs advance to the National League Championship Series.

[RELATED - How Cubs plan to rebuild their bullpen for next October]   

Never say never when you’re talking about potential deals, but another source said the Cubs have scenarios where Castro sticks around next season as their primary second baseman.

Theo Epstein’s front office and Joe Maddon’s coaching staff appreciated the way Castro handled Addison Russell taking over at shortstop in August, how a three-time All-Star didn’t complain and remade himself at a new position. 

A third source predicted the Cubs will find their next centerfielder by either making a small trade or signing a free agent. The assumption being Dexter Fowler will get paid somewhere else, with most of the available resources poured into the pitching staff this winter.

The Yankees didn’t bite when the Cubs shopped Castro at the July 31 trade deadline, but they are said to at least be open-minded about a player who sometimes has a perception problem, given his uneven performance and concentration issues in the past.

Jim Hendry – the former Cubs general manager who promoted Castro to the big leagues from Double-A Tennessee in 2010 – is now a special assistant to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

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There’s a lot to like about Gardner, a self-made player who – as the story goes – got cut from the College of Charleston team before making it as a walk-on and ultimately developing into a World Series champion in 2009.

Gardner has 34 playoff games on his resume, a career .346 on-base percentage and a reputation for being a good leader. But he’s 32 years old and reportedly owed $38 million across the next three seasons.

In terms of a more realistic match, Fox Sports identified Atlanta’s controllable starting pitchers (Julio Teheran, Shelby Miller) as targets for the Cubs. In trying to build a World Series contender for 2016, the sense is the Cubs will try to use their dollars and trade chips to address the pitching deficit. 

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Reds pitcher Amir Garrett apparently held a grudge against Javy Baez for a year

Baseball players don't forget grudges. Javy Baez and Reds pitcher Amir Garrett gave an example of that on Saturday.

Garrett struck out Baez in the seventh inning of the first game of the Cubs-Reds doubleheader. Garrett showed some excitement with the strikeout and then said something to Baez. They both started jawing at each other and suddenly the benches cleared.

At first glance, it looked like Garrett was a bit too excited to get a strikeout with no one on base. Turns out Baez had his own bit of swag for Garrett last year (Friday was the one-year anniversary) in the form of a grand slam at Wrigley Field.

This time Garrett got Baez and wanted to even things up a bit.

Things didn't get too feisty despite the benches clearing, but Anthony Rizzo did rush to Baez's side at some speed. This could be a matchup to keep an eye out for in the future.

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: The greatest Cubs moments at Great American Ballpark

Siera Santos, Kelly Crull, and David DeJesus go into the audio archives to break down the biggest games for the Cubs in Cincinnati.

David DeJesus gives us his top 3 ballgames with such gems as The Schwarber Game, The Kris Bryant Game, Starlin Castro’s debut, and Jake Arrieta’s second no hitter.

Listen to the full Cubs Talk Podcast right here: