The Yankees gave the public a peek into their future this past week as they displayed some of their high-profile prospects. Starlin Castro, 26, was the lone veteran presence. He has a long-term contract that he signed when he played for the Cubs. With the kids on the way, it will be interesting to see if he’s still a Yankee when the deal expires at the end of the 2020 season.
Castro came over from the Cubs last year for Adam Warren and Brendan Ryan as the Cubs’ youth movement made him expendable. They went on to win the World Series.
“I felt good, I felt happy for my ex-teammates and the city of Chicago,’’ Castro said Wednesday at St. Malachy’s Church in Manhattan, where he helped serve meals to parishioners during the team’s Winter Warm Up festivities. “At the same time, I felt a little sad. I came through that team, with all the losses. But I’m still happy because the last year I played with them, they made the playoffs.’’
The Yankees think they have a blue-chip prospect in shortstop Gleyber Torres. But if incumbent Didi Gregorius is the long-term answer at that position, Torres could be headed for second base — Castro’s position — perhaps by 2018.
“As you know, I’m a shortstop,’’ Torres said through a translator. “When you get to the big leagues, you want to play your position. But I’m willing to play any position. Once the opportunity comes, I’ll be able to play any position.’’
If the Yankees do the expected and open their checkbook to free-agent signings after the 2017 season, having club-friendly contracts with the younger players will be paramount. And trading away Castro’s might be necessary.
He is in the midst of a seven-year, $60-million deal in which he will make $9 million this season, $10 million in 2018, $11 million in 2019 and $16 million in 2020. Those reasonable amounts, at least until the final year, could yield trade partners if Castro produces decent numbers.
It’s all speculative if Torres doesn’t pan out, but when asked if he expects to stay, Castro said, “I don’t really think about this. I just try to do my job. I don’t have any control of this. Whatever they want to do, they have to do it.’’
Castro knows all about the ramifications of a youth movement.
“That’s the second time it happened to me,’’ he said. “That happened my last year in the Cubs. All the younger guys coming to the team. Here, the same thing.’’