At some point this coming season, the Miami Marlins will need to decide whether to keep veteran second baseman Starlin Castro on the roster or trade him.
It’s not like Miami Marlins fans haven’t heard this before. When will the organization trade a veteran with a high-priced salary to make room for a minor league prospect with loads of talent? In this case, the idea of trading second baseman Starlin Castro isn’t but “if” the team will make a deal this season, it becomes more of a matter of “when” it’s going to happen.
Castro is the forgotten puzzle piece in the trade that sent outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to New York last season. The Marlins have praised their minor leaguers and their development, but the shine of how Castro has once again performed on a roster underdeveloped and at least two seasons away from contending has been unspoken.
The 28-year-old from the Dominican Republic wasn’t happy when he received the news of moving down I-95 to south Florida, but he still put together a solid season at the plate and has continued to show leadership on the diamond.
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With all the talk of J.T. Realmuto being moved this offseason, the contract of Starlin Castro is a topic of conversation this organization will have to address. With a payroll of around $100 million it is unlikely the front office can afford to keep him as the Marlins continue their rebuild.
"“The Marlins are open to trading Castro, but the second-base market had been slow moving until recent reports regarding Brian Dozier, Jed Lowrie and DJ LeMahieu,” writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.”"
Over the weekend, we learned the Marlins showed interest in LeMahieu, who agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal with the Yankees on Friday, according to the New York Post. That would have more than likely set the wheels in motion for a deal to get Castro out of town for the right price.
With the Marlins still looking to keep its bank roll small and develop from within the organization from trades the team has already made and to see how well their homegrown talent rises through the minor league system, it’s a good bet Castro will be replaced by the MLB Trade Deadline in July.
Besides the news of a bullish free agent market, the contract of Starlin Castro is an issue for not only the Marlins, but for other teams as well.
"“Teams also are reluctant to take on the $11 million Castro will make this season, and his deal has a club option of $16 million for 2020, with a $1 million buyout,” Frisaro added. “The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline may realistically be a time when teams are more receptive to trading for Castro.”"
Isan Diaz is the future of the organization at second base. When he gets to the parent club is really just a matter of time. Youth around the infield is some the Marlins have for years to come. Starlin Castro is not part of the team’s plans down the road.
"“As for Diaz, the 22-year-old left-handed hitter is considered the second baseman of the future. I suspect Diaz will open at Triple-A New Orleans, and how he performs will also determine how quickly he reaches the big leagues,” Frisaro writes."
"“If Diaz shows he can hit, Miami would find a place for its No. 9 prospect to play in the big leagues. He did play some third base in the offseason, but the hope is for him to be at second.”"