It's that time again to consider the fate of Lendy Castillo, the Cubs Rule 5 experiment for the year. I won't be so brash as to say he is MLB quality yet. He isn't, and not because of a comically errant throw in an early spring appearance. He walks too many hitters for Team Theo. He might rate as a decent Prospect in the system in a year, but he is too raw to put on the 25 man roster.
I am going to be making some assumptions here. I will explain why I think they are valid. I will come up with a list of potential trade candidates, and open it up for you to say who you think would be an applicable offer.
With Rule 5 Players, they have to last the entire season without being farmed out to the minors. If they are run through waivers, all the teams in the league get a shot at him. If they all pass, the team that left him unprotected (in this case, the Phillies) can buy him back for half the $50,000 fee, then sending him to the minors. Then, the teams may attempt to make a trade, which may or may not have already been agreed upon. I'm reasonably certain Jed and Theo has been talking rather extensively, trying to find a player that Philadelphia would swap for Castillo.
To execute a trade, both sides will usually be offering something the other side prefers. I'll assume Theo sees Castillo as an 8th inning guy in a few years. Otherwise, he probably wouldn't have been giving him so many chances. I would imagine that Philadelphia would like to give Lendy another year in their system, rewarding a good season with a 40 Man spot.
So, who would make for a legitimate trade offer? Though the Phillies are trying to replace Chase Utley for an undertermined period of time, I imagine Mike Fontenot would make sense to them as much as Blake DeWitt. DeWitt will serve 'useful' on this highly flawed Cubs team of 2012. I will eliminate DeWitt from consideration for a Castillo trade as we need him, and the Phillies might not.
It will come down to a prospect. While people like to criticize the Cubs system, it has a number of players who will probably play in the bigs. They will probably even be able to play for good teams. They probably won't start for good teams. They seem to have a depth in the middle infeld, though with the caveat that most will be utility types. From Junior Lake at he the high end to Matt Cerda at the lower end, there are some options there. We have a plethora of lottery ticket pitcher types. Before you recommend one, make caertain that you explain why you think Philly may see more in them than our people do.
We have some adequate catchers, from Brenly and Gibbs to Burruel. Richard Jones hit well at first in Peoria last year. Our outfields are full of flawed cadidates. Let us know below who you think is a 'fair swap' for Lendy Castillo.
I hope we get a chance to keep him. He represents an 8th inning guy if he can harness some control. That said, I really don't want to give up anyone in our top twenty to get him. Included in the poll are five names and three other options. Feel free to comment below.