Yankees Starlin Castro: When Trade Talk Is Reaching For Straws

Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees rumor mill has awakened from winter’s hibernation. And for sportswriters, it’s been a challenge coming up with novel and interesting stories. Joel Sherman, in a New York Post article, writes that Stalin Castro was “on the trading block” at some point in the offseason. Really? Where’s the story?

The Yankees may or may not have let the baseball world know that Starlin Castro was “available.” But, I also heard that Miguel Cabrera and Andrew McCutchen were available too back in December. And as far as I know, they haven’t moved. Such is the talk we get when there is no talk to talk about.

Is there any reason to doubt that Castro’s name wasn’t (and maybe still is) floated out there by Brian Cashman? Hardly. And when the Dodgers were looking for a second baseman, isn’t it very possible that the Yankees were on their speed dial list of teams to contact. And would you be more surprised if the two teams weren’t in touch with other?

Every Yankees player is on the Trading Block. There are no “untouchables”.

The fact is that, at one time or another, every player is on the trading block. Is it feasible, for instance, to think that if Brian Cashman could, he would trade Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier to the Dodgers for Clayton Kershaw? If it’s not, it should be. After all, Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees for a cup of coffee by the Red Sox, who were in dire financial need at the time.

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Tom Seaver, then a future Hall Of Famer, was traded by the New York Mets. And the Cleveland Indians, once pulled the trigger on a deal that is still talked about today, sending slugger and fan favorite Rocky Colavito to the Tigers for singles hitter Harvey Kuenn. And need we be reminded that the Texas Rangers traded Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees in 2004 for Alphonso Soriano and a player to be named later.

Need I go on? The list is endless. Every Yankees player on the 40-man roster is “available.” As a General Manager, you always listen when a team asks about a player. And even if a GM thinks that a particular player is “untouchable,” as, for instance, Gleyber Torres might be, you still listen because you never know when a deal can come along.

Over the years, the big deals are the ones we don’t hear about. Those trades are the ones made through a series of clandestine phone calls or conversations at a Holiday Inn in Des Moines, Iowa. There are exceptions and the sweepstakes for Chris Sale is an example which created a feeding frenzy among teams, who may or may not have been in the hunt for his services. I was one who participated writing story after story about why the Yankees should not participate. And that’s what happens when the rumor mill gets torqued up.

I’m not belittling the work of Joel Sherman, Jon Heyman, or anyone like them. They’re simply doing their job, which is to be the “inside man” who breaks the story before anyone else does. But (there’s always a but, right?), when it reaches proportions as it is with Castro and another name that’ll pop up tomorrow, I question the news value of these stories.

And that’s especially true when there is no accompanying attempt to analyze the effects on the Yankees if they were to trade Castro.

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Now Mr. Sherman, if you can tell me the name of the teams the Yankees talked to, and the player(s) the Yankees would receive in return for Castro, I might be interested.