I raised the question on Twitter this morning and a very interesting debate with Snakepitter @craiginphoenix and others ensued.
The acquisition cost for a centerfielder seems to be going higher and higher. Potential trade target Starling Marte will not come cheap. My guess is he will cost one of either Daulton Varsho, Corbin Carroll, or Kristian Robinson, plus one other decent player. (Either prospect or player off MLB roster).
At the same time a bidding war for JPL veteran Shogo Akiyama seems to have broken out and the DBacks, according to reports, have fallen by the wayside.
Of course, we really don’t know that the DBacks were ever really in, or are currently out, on either of these players. As has been oft repeated, Mike Hazen runs a tight ship, and he doesn’t leak.
He does give indications to his thinking of course. I was mostly under the impression that while he’s indicated they’d like to perhaps move Ketel Marte back to 2b, and most people are taking that as a given, I’m wondering if that is etched in stone.
Twitter buddy @azsportsfien reminded me of this article comment from Zach Buchanan based on his interviews with Mike Hazen:
Stating a preference is one thing, but making a hard decision with the market realities surrounding him is another.
If the team is open to keeping Ketel Marte in Centerfield, at least for one more year, how about this option:
Sign Starlin Castro to a 1 year deal, for say 7-8 Million, with a mutual option for the 2nd year.
I’m not the only one wondering if there is a match here. Justin Merrlles listed the Dbacks atop his potential teams to go after Castro.
Reasons to like Castro:
1.) Still relatively young, turning 30 for 2020. 3 Time All Star.
2.) Had a 3 bWAR season as recently as 2018 (2.3 by fWAR though)
3.) Got off to a terrible start last year, but had a MONSTER 2nd half.
He doesn’t walk much at all, so that makes his OBP heavily Batting Avg. dependent. He’s generally been a below average fielder through most of his career, although he’s been close to league average the last two seasons.
Castro’s hustle was called into question during his younger days in Chicago, but reports of his effort and hustle the last couple years out of Miami were positive. Whatever attitude problems he might have had as a young player seem to be in the past:
“Right when I wake up, I just want to go to the ballpark and try to play every day, try to do my best to help the team and help my teammates,” Castro said. “That’s part of the thing, my mentality, that’s helped me a lot. I want to play every day. Thank God, I’ve been really healthy this year. Nothing’s bothering me. I’ve just come in here and tried to do my best every day.”
I just have a gut feeling that having his 16M option turned down, and hitting the market with a deepish 2nd base group to pick from will make him hungry to prove himself on a pillow contract in 2020 and try the market again next year
Signing Castro for 7-9M would still allows Mike Hazen to sign a veteran reliever for anywhere from 3M-5M if there is one he really has his heart set on. There are risks here, to be sure, but it’s an upside play. If you manage to get a 3 WAR season out of Castro, which he is still clearly capable of producing based on his 2018 season and his 2nd half of 2019, then you have done as well as you could be expected with just about any other move.
Perhaps my thinking that Castro would accept a one year make good deal is unrealistic. But I don’t think he’s going to get a strong multi year deal at this point in time. So I would at least be looking in on him.
Other options for the team would be to sign stop gap CF options like Kevin Pillar, or bring back Jarrod Dyson, or even try Josh Rojas at 2b every day. After all they traded for him.
What say ye ?
What should Dbacks do about CF/2b
This poll is closed
Trade for Starling Marte, even at high cost
Sign Shogo Akiyama, even at high cost
Sign Starlin Castro, keep Ketel in CF
Sign Stopgap CF option, (Pillar, Dyson, etc)
Give Josh Rojas a chance to play every day