The Mets seem to have an excess of young starting pitching, and the Cubs seem to have an excess of young middle infielders. Perfect trade partners? Perhaps.
However, it’s been reported that the Mets and Cubs are far likelier to match up on a trade that imports either Javier Baez or Addison Russell to New York instead of Starlin Castro. The reason, as written by Andy Martino in the Daily News:
We can also tell you something new here, which is that the Mets consider Zack Wheeler, plus a “sweetener” like Wilmer Flores, a reasonable ask for Starlin Castro. That does not mean that the Mets would definitely make that deal, just that they wouldn’t consider the request inappropriate.
But guess what? The Cubs would say, “Ok, Wheeler and Flores. That’s a decent start. What else will you give us? Maybe Jacob deGrom? Syndergaard?”
The Mets would see that as ridiculous. No deal.
Dealing Zack Wheeler for Starlin Castro wouldn’t be a crazy thing for the Mets to do, though it’s not something I’m in favor of.
Castro, while not plus defensively, is a gifted offensive player who is the same age as Wheeler and is under contract through 2019.
However, adding another pitcher with front-line potential (such as deGrom or Noah Syndergaard) to a deal for Castro would be madness. And as Martino writes above, the Mets would likely laugh at the Cubs and hang up the phone if that was indeed their demand.
The Cubs have a right to ask for an enormous package in exchange for Castro. Still, while he’s got tremendous offensive potential, this is a free-swinger who had a miserable 2013, posting a triple slash of .245/.284/.347.
Castro has performed well in 2014, but he is absolutely not worth more than one pitcher of equal value and some filler.
The above is why the Mets will likely turn to another player to fill their void at shortstop.