New York Yankees

Starlin Castro would fill second base void for New York Yankees. Just don’t expect a trade to come easy. Or at all.

By William Chase

Starlin Castro for Brett Gardner is not going to happen, at least not straight-up. However, for hypothetical purposes, let’s explore the topic.

Both are set to make roughly the exact same salary. Castro will make $7 million in 2016, and his salary subsequently increases every year after that with $9 million in 2017, $10 million in 2018 and $11 million in 2019. He has a club option for 2020 when he can make $16 million.

Gardner, of course, is signed through 2018, a club option that can be picked up for 2019. He is set to make $13 million in 2016, $12 million in 2017, $11 million in 2018 and can make $12.5 million in 2019.

Of course New York has the combo of Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder but it remains to be seen if either is going to stick. Rumors have been swirling around Brett Gardner, with possible talks between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners.

Friday, reports came out that the Yankees were talking to the Cubs regarding a Gardner for Castro swap, however CBS sportswriter and MLB insider Jon Heyman put those rumors to rest:

As Heyman alludes GM Brian Cashman plans to pursue pitching in any possible trade of Gardy, and while the Cubs in return can use a top-of-the order hitter, Gardner does not qualify unless he’s going to play as their everyday center fielder — he hasn’t played there regularly since 2013 — while the Cubs are said to be considering re-signing Fowler, as well as looking at other free agent possibilities.

The Cubs are considering moving outfielders Jorge Soler and Javier Báez, however that would likely be for pitching.

Castro, the former No. 1 prospect in the Cubs’ organization struggled throughout 2015. The .281 career hitter really came on for Chicago in August, and after the move from shortstop to second base in favor of Addison Russell. He hit .296 for August and .426 for September.

The natural shortstop has just 38 games at second base to his name, 29 as a starter. He made six errors as he adjusted to his new position, but also made his share of errors at short. While he can make the jaw-dropping great play, he can also make the head-scratching error.

Still only 25-years-old, he will accrue hit No. 1,000 for his career early in 2016 and still features tremendous upside. Again, he’s 25, a mere veteran among the Cubs’ infield, let alone its roster.

Brett is 32-years-old but when healthy, the career .264 hitter can be dangerous at the plate — 33 home runs the last two seasons — and on the base paths with 202 career steals. He has not come close to the 47 steals he had in 2010 and 49 in 2011 but is still good for around 20 a season.

Dexter Fowler led Chicago with 20 steals last season.

Right now it’s mere talk, but the rumors will only intensify as the GM Winter Meetings are set to take place in two weeks.

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William Chase is editor at Elite Sports NY, and has been featured on such prominent websites including Bleacher Report. William is also currently the Marketing & Media Relations Intern for the Augusta GreenJackets.