Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yanks Land Castro

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Yanks Land Castro

Article excerpt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Starlin Castro had been on the Yankees' radar for some time as a coveted second baseman, but general manager Brian Cashman needed factors beyond his control to make it happen.

The pieces finally fell into place at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, a wild evening that ended with Castro in pinstripes and the Mets left empty-handed.

After the Chicago Cubs and infielder Ben Zobrist agreed to a four- year, $56 million deal, Cubs president Theo Epstein shipped Castro to the Yankees for right-hander Adam Warren and a player to be named.

Infielder Brendan Ryan is reportedly the other player headed to Chicago.

"We've been on Castro for a while, not just this winter," Cashman said. "We tried to get him at the [trade] deadline. I like that he's athletic, I like his age [25]."

The Mets' strong bid to land the free agent Zobrist was thwarted in part by the Yankees' ability to absorb the $38 million remaining on Castro's contract through 2019.

Coupled with shortstop Didi Gregorius, the Yankees have a promising, young up-the-middle combo under team control for years to come.

"Between the youth, the [defensive] flexibility, the right- handed bat [Castro] kind of checks off a lot of the boxes here," Cashman said.

So ends the potential platoon of rookie Rob Refsnyder with Dustin Ackley, a subpar defensive duo that Cashman was "prepared" but not comfortable to utilize on opening day.

Now, the Yankees will turn their attention toward adding a controllable starting pitcher and bolstering a bullpen that has lost a significant piece in Warren.

"I've been busiest on the trade front," said Cashman, suggesting those additions are less likely to be free agent acquisitions.

Refsnyder could be considered as prime trade bait, though Cashman currently sees him as part of the club's depth.

Cashman said the Yankees "thought about" signing Zobrist, "a perfect fit for any team in the game. …

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