A.J. Preller is looking for a shortstop to complete his overhaul of the Padres roster. When the reports first surfaced the Padres were looking to make a change, Starlin Castro was linked to the Padres because it’s believed the Cubs would like to clear a spot for Addison Russell.
The Cubs have maintained publicly that Starlin Castro is the team’s shortstop.
Ken Rosenthal broke down the players the unpredictable Padres might be interested in acquiring to upgrade shortstop. Rosenthal thinks if Preller makes a deal for a shortstop “it will be a younger, less expensive player than the most obvious names … the Cubs’ Starlin Castro and Rangers’ Elvis Andrus.”
As Rosenthal pointed out, there is a lot of speculation that the Padres could be interested in Starlin Castro, a player “the Cubs likely will attempt to move to clear the position for top prospect Addison Russell.”
According to Rosenthal, the Cubs and Padres have had conversations about infielders “but not recently” and “some with the Padres are less than enamored of Castro’s defense, echoing a view held by many in the industry.”
Ken Rosenthal listed Brad Miller and Chris Taylor of the Mariners, the Indians’ Jose Ramirez, the Blue Jays’ Ryan Goins, Luis Sardinas of the Brewers and the White Sox’s Leury Garcia as possibilities. And Rosenthal would not rule out A.J. Preller possibly talking to the Reds about Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez or the Diamondbacks about Nick Ahmed or Chris Owings or the Giants about Ehire Adrianza.
Buster Olney reported Tuesday that he thinks the Cubs’ shortstop situation will become front and center once Kris Bryant is called up and that is behind the front office. Olney claimed the Cubs are concerned about Castro’s defense while Russell won over his teammates this spring.
Addison Russell opened a lot of eyes in Spring Training, especially in the field, and Joe Maddon recently labeled Russell “a technician” when discussing what he saw from Russell defensively this spring. Most in the game think Russell is ready for the big leagues and if he was in another organization he would have likely broken camp on its Major League roster.
Starlin Castro is a special talent that is underappreciated by the fan base and a lot of the criticism he receives is media driven. There was a noticeable difference in his performance from the first to second game. It will be interesting to watch his maturation process under Joe Maddon, as long as the front office is committed to him being on the team as Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have stated.