The Yankees found their everyday second baseman and continued on a path to relying on more youth when they traded right-hander Adam Warren to the Cubs for three-time All-Star infielder Starlin Castro, who has around $38 million remaining on his contract over the next four seasons.
Moving away from the dead-anchor contracts of aging infielders Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, the Yankees now have a young core up the middle under contract control. Castro will pair with shortstop Didi Gregorius next year in the age 26 season for both.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was excited about picking up the versatile Castro, who can play three infield positions if necessary. Castro, 25, has spent his entire six-year career with the Cubs. The shortstop/second basemen hit .265 last year with 11 home runs and 69 RBIs in 151 games.
“We looked at him near the trading deadline last July,” Cashman said. “We couldn’t get anything done at the deadline. The Cubs moved him over to second base. He proved that was a really good setup for him.”
Castro takes his 991 career hits and .281 batting average with him to New York, where he will play for his manager Joe Girardi, his sixth skipper in seven seasons as a big league player.
“We talked to the Cubs early, and we hashed out different ideas we had,” Cashman said. “This is the one obviously we settled on. We are excited on our end to get Castro. We think he will be an above-average defender at second base. He has a quality stick. He can play all the positions, giving us a lot of versatility and hopefully performance.”
The Yankees gave up Warren, who they consider a class kid. He was 7-7 with a 3.29 ERA last season.
“You will love him on and off the field,” Cashman said of Warren. “He can start or relieve. He is a great guy. He was a wonderful teammate and great competition player. It was a tough loss to lose him. You have to give to get.”
The addition of Castro is in line with Cashman’s stated goal of a youth movement.
“We want to get younger while improving,” Cashman said. “This can be done by using younger controllable pieces. We believe he checks all of the boxes.”
Castro just moved to Tampa, Fla., from his native Dominican Republic this week after he was in the vicinity of two shootings in his homeland last offseason. Coincidentally, the Yankees train in Tampa for spring training every season.