By Art Martone
The "silly season" is defined by Wikipedia as the "period lasting for a few summer months typified by the emergence of frivolous news stories in the media". It's not summer anymore, but it sure feels like it.
The Chicago Tribune's Steve Rosenbloom threw out the question yesterday to Cubs fans: Would you trade Starlin Castro for Theo Epstein? (Don't know where that came from; perhaps he got the idea from Nick Cafardo's musings in the Boston Globe a few days ago.) Rosenbloom's feeling was that if the Sox are going to agree to let Theo go, it'll come at a steep price. And there's no steeper price than Castro, the 21-year-old shortstop who hit .301, led the National League in hits with 207, and would be the pool of cool, refreshing water in the desolate wasteland known as The Red Sox Shortstop Position In The Epstein Era.
It had tongues wagging in Boston (where WEEI's Rob Bradford thinks it's a fit) and Chicago (where many of the commenters on Rosenbloom's blog entry had a fit, mostly at him). But let's be real, shall we?
Castro has his faults -- he made 29 errors, he only walked 35 times (and he struck out 96) -- but he's as close to a star-in-the-making as the Cubs have. You build teams by acquiring guys like that, not giving them away. There've been times in the past when teams have surrendered players in exchange for the right to sign a manager or GM, but never one as accomplished as Castro. In fact, deals have broken down -- Dick Williams never got to manage the Yankees because Charlie Finley's compensation demands were too rich for New York's tastes in 1974 -- over such issues.
So while it may be a fun topic to debate, remember the words of Sugar Ray Leonard: It'll never happen.
Besides: If the Sox are going to ask for anyone off the Cubs' big-league roster, ask for Matt Garza.
Art Martone can be reached at email@example.com.