The New York Mets seem set on finding a new second baseman, with Starlin Castro as a late entry.
Giancarlo Stanton finally approved a trade, and he’s headed to the New York Yankees. Second baseman Starlin Castro is the only major league player going the other way in the deal, and according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News the New York Mets plan to inquire with Miami on Castro’s availability.
The Mets have reportedly had talks with the Cleveland Indians regarding Jason Kipnis and they could “explore” a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates for Josh Harrison at the upcoming Winter Meetings. But Castro is an intriguing late entry into the mix, and arguably a better option than Kipnis, Harrison or even Ian Kinsler.
Castro posted a .300/.338/.454 slash-line with 16 home runs, 63 RBI and 66 runs scored for the Yankees last season, over 473 plate appearances (112 games). Over the last two seasons with the Yankees, Castro totaled 37 home runs with a .759 OPS.
Castro also has two years and $22.7 million left on his contract, with a $16 million team option ($1 million buyout) for 2020. That remaining salary makes it possible, if not pretty likely, the Marlins will look to flip him to another team if they can.
Practically as quickly as it was reported the Mets would check on a potential deal for Castro, Marc Carig of Newsday offered a report to dismiss their interest.
Castro first surfaced in the big leagues with the Chicago Cubs as a shortstop in 2010. And he’s still in his theoretical prime, with his 28th birthday coming just before next season starts (March 24). He fits as the Marlins’ replacement for Dee Gordon at second base, so his inclusion in the Stanton deal make sense beyond a very little bit of salary offset.
If the Marlins want to move Castro immediately, the Mets may have to get in line. But they should have interest, even if they’ve begun to hone in on other options to fill second base.