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Starlin likely to remain Marlins' second baseman

Miami continuing to field potential offers for four-time All-Star
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- From the day he was dealt from the Yankees to the Marlins as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade, many have speculated that Starlin Castro should not unpack his bags because he won't be staying long in South Florida.

Trade rumors continue to surround Castro, but indications are that the 27-year-old will be the Marlins' second baseman when Spring Training opens in mid-February.

MIAMI -- From the day he was dealt from the Yankees to the Marlins as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade, many have speculated that Starlin Castro should not unpack his bags because he won't be staying long in South Florida.

Trade rumors continue to surround Castro, but indications are that the 27-year-old will be the Marlins' second baseman when Spring Training opens in mid-February.

It's no secret that the Marlins are listening to potential offers on Castro -- and all their players -- but the club would only pull off a deal if it absolutely made sense. Thus far, nothing is close to being in the works.

Most of the Marlins' trade conversations are focused on outfielder Christian Yelich and catcher J.T. Realmuto. To a lesser degree, Castro is generating attention on the market.

The fact the front office is not mandated to move the $21 million remaining on Castro's contract for the next two years, including $10 million for 2018, is another sign he is expected to stick around for a while in Miami.

Perhaps that could change by Opening Day, or even extend to the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July. But indications are the club is ready to have Castro take over for Dee Gordon, who was dealt to the Mariners in December.

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"He has the ability to hit for average, and for a second baseman, he does provide power for that position," Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Gary Denbo said. "Starlin Castro, he's a good Major League player. Again, he's that middle-of-the-field guy that we look for. Obviously, we needed to fill a hole at that position, and Starlin, I think, will do that very well."

Formerly with the Yankees, Denbo has history with Castro. With New York last year, Castro had a slash line of .300/.338/.454 with 16 home runs, 18 doubles and 63 RBIs.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Castro leaps to make a smooth grab on liner

If there is potential concern, it is the risk of injury. Castro dealt with a right hamstring strain that limited him to 112 games last year. In 2015 and '16, he appeared in 151 games.

"Defensively, I think he will provide stability out there," Denbo said. "He's athletic."

Castro offers a different style than the player he replaces, the speedy Gordon, who paced the Majors with 60 stolen bases in 2017. Castro has more of a power presence.

"He's got some of the best hands for a hitter that you'll see in the Major Leagues right now," Denbo said. "He can put the barrel of the bat on the ball, even when he's off-balance on difficult pitches. He has a great feel for the barrel and great hand-eye coordination."

According to Statcast™, in 2017, Castro's average exit velocity was 87.4 mph, which rated ninth among second basemen with at least 300 balls put in play. For perspective, Jose Altuve's 85.4 mph was ranked 12th, and Robinson Cano topped the list at 90.3 mph.

"We hope he can help us offensively and be a steady defender in the middle of the field," Denbo said.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

 

Miami Marlins, Starlin Castro