The talk all weekend was whether the Mets should pursue Starlin Castro from the suddenly shortstop rich Cubs. Keith Hernandez says no, but I say yes.
Now, I understand that Hernandez knows slightly more about baseball than I do. He had this to say during Sunday’s broadcast.
“We’ve seen enough of Castro to know that he’s just too unreliable, too loose… he’s too lackadaisical in the field for my liking. I want the Mets to get guys that are hard-nosed, come to the ball yard every day and put their 100%. And I don’t think Castro does that. I’ve seen enough of him.”
Well, that is unequivocal. It will be interesting to see what Hernandez says in the event that the Mets do land Castro.
In any case, I think the Mets should go after Starlin Castro, even if it costs them Zack Wheeler, as has been rumored. The Mets one strength is a deep reserve of young pitching. And when you have such a surplus, you use it to fill needs on the rest of the team. That was how the Mets were able to get Wheeler in the first place.
Wheeler is a good pitcher, but thus far he does not look like the young stud the Mets have been hyping for a couple of years. Remember, he was supposed to be better than Matt Harvey. We have not seen that, not even close.
Even if the Mets deal Wheeler, they will have a 2015 rotation of Matt Harvey (who will come back as strongly as ever, trust me), Noah Syndergaard (who will live up to the hype), Jacob deGrom, Jonathon Niese or Dillon Gee (one of them will be traded for a power bat) and perhaps Rafael Montero or another of the young pitchers. Wheeler will not be needed.
But a competent shortstop is very much needed. The Mets can promote Ruben Tejada’s on-base percentage as much as they’d like; he is still a substandard shortstop. Despite his possible downside, Starlin Castro would be a major upgrade at the position.
I do not think I would trade both Wheeler and Montero, though, in the same deal for Castro. If it were for a sure thing power hitter type, I would do that in a second. But not for a shortstop who does have some risks, as Hernandez pointed out.
Speaking of risk, this trade is a major one. Which is why the risk-averse Sandy Alderson will probably not do it. Instead, he will hold onto his young pitching and figure out a place to put everyone while the offense continues to sag.