The Cleat Sheet’s Take on the Cubs’ Infield

Since we are mostly discussing prospects when we write editorials, we like to base it on future success. Therefore, let’s take a look at a few different scenarios for the Cubs in the near future.
Scenario 1: Starlin Castro is on the trading block.

It is reasonable to think he has been ever since Baez was called up to AAA, but now, the Cubs’ front office must be putting some feelers out there for the ONLY 24 YEAR OLD TWO TIME ALL-STAR Castro. In the midst of a strong season (a very respectable .807 OPS), it may be foolish to move him. However if they are going to trade him, the season he is currently having is the best reason to trade him sooner rather than later due to the value the Cubs could recoup. The goal would be to receive a top pitching prospect or two who are within 1.5 years of MLB (a 45-55 MLB Ready Rating).
          Scenario #2: Javier Baez, or another prospect, is on the trading block. This kid may have the highest ceiling of all prospects, but if he cannot begin to put it together, the Cubs will begin to question his legitimacy. Baez flourished in 2013. He struggled to  begin 2014, but has recovered some over the past six weeks. The remainder of this season is very important to his timetable and future with the organization. The Cubs may also look to move IF/OF Arismendy Alcantara for young arms. Again, the goal is to get young pitching that can be ready once the top prospects are ready.
         Scenario #3, The Best Case Scenario: The Cubs keep the lot, and boast one of the scariest offenses in the bigs. Take a look at this starting lineup in the not so distant future. With the hype we hear daily about some of these guys, let’s assume they live up to their potential. Give some hope to the hopeless. Next to each prospect will be their current Prospect Rating / MLB Ready Rating.
       Opening Day 2017
       1. Albert Almora, CF – 55 / 40
       2. Starlin Castro, 2B
       3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
       4. Kris Bryant, RF – 65 / 55
       5. Javier Baez, 3B – 65 / 55
       6. Addison Russell, SS – 65 / 50
       7. Arismendy Alcantara, LF – 50 / 60
       8. Welly Castillo, C
       9. Greg Maddux, P
       That should get a rise out of some, and pump some hope into others. In determining defensive positions, the organization should simply put the best fielder at SS and then figure it out from there. As exciting of a time this may be for The Northsiders, any one would trade rosters with the team that just received the Cubs’ ace and number two starter.

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