The Road Ahead for Starlin Castro

Starlin Castro
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The Road Ahead for Starlin Castro

Starlin Castro is a free agent for the first time in his career. After stints with the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and Miami Marlins, he could join his fourth different team in six seasons. Heading into his 30-year-old season, Castro is hoping to sign as an everyday player with a Major League club. Castro became a free agent after the Marlins did not pick up his $16 million option on October 31, 2019.

Castro in 2019

In 2019, Castro played in all 162 games for the Marlins. He finished the season hitting .270/.300/.436 with 22 home runs and 86 RBI. Defensively, Castro is primarily a second baseman, playing 117 games last season at second base. However, prospective teams could use Castro in a utility role as he played both third base and shortstop in 2019. Although it is more than likely he will play every day at second base

In 2019, Castro earned $11,857,143 from the Marlins. If he were to sign a contract this offseason, chances are his contract will be from $12 million to $16 million per year. Here is a list of teams that could acquire Castro in 2020.

The Options

Arizona Diamondbacks

Ketel Marte is currently the best option at second base and center field for the Arizona Diamondbacks. But since Marte can’t play two positions at once, the Diamondbacks have to find an infielder or an outfielder. The Diamondbacks used Marte more in the outfield than in the infield last season. Not to mention that an outfielder costs more than an infielder according to average salary by position. Assuming they continue this trend, then the team requires a second baseman — especially now that Wilmer Flores is a free agent.

While the Diamondbacks have made moves to acquire Madison Bumgarner and Kole Calhoun, there may not be enough funds to support Castro. However, if the Diamondbacks intend to pursue a Wild Card spot in 2020; signing Castro could help the team get back into the Postseason.

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs were the team that drafted Castro back in 2007. Currently, the Cubs have David Bote, Nico Hoerner, and Daniel Descalso who can all play second base. However, none of them were able to earn a job as an everyday player. Bote played most of the 2019 season at third base filling in for Kris Bryant. Hoerner is a rookie with only 20 games in the big leagues. Castro has helped bring the Cubs to the playoffs before in 2015, and if signed, he could likely do it again five years later.

Oakland Athletics

If there was ever a year to take the American League West back from the Houston Astros, 2020 would be it. After back to back Wild Card appearances, the Oakland Athletics have a desire to win the division in 2020. With the trade of second baseman Jurickson Profar to the San Diego Padres, the Athletics need a replacement. Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman had great seasons in 2019, and signing Castro could be a reward for the Athletics.

Washington Nationals

This move would make sense if the Washington Nationals do not re-sign first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. As of now, the starting second baseman is expected to be Carter Kieboom, who played less than twenty games in 2019. Howie Kendrick was the second baseman fans may be more familiar with, but if Zimmerman doesn’t re-sign, he will be moving to first base. Castro has experience in the National League and could be useful against the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and the New York Mets.

Baltimore Orioles

Jonathan Villar was the everyday second baseman for the Baltimore Orioles in 2019. In 162 games, Villar produced numbers similar to Castro. However, the Orioles traded Villar to the Marlins this December. Castro could sign with the Orioles and produce similar numbers while being a veteran in the clubhouse. While the Orioles are far from contention, Castro would be the everyday second baseman while playing at least 155 games.

Wild Card Pick: Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers need an everyday third baseman. While Josh Donaldson is arguably the best third baseman still available, it has been reported that the price on Donaldson has exceeded the Rangers’ comfort zone. Defensively, third base is not Castro’s strong suit, but he has played the position. If Castro would be willing to play third base every day, he could fit into the Rangers system.

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