The Yankees made infielder Starlin Castro available in trade talks this offseason, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
"Meanwhile, the Yankees have been unable to deal Brett Gardner, Chase Headley or Starlin Castro, who they let some clubs know was available," wrote Sherman. "To date, that has kept them from pushing for a pricey reliever."
The 26-year-old was acquired by New York last offseason in the deal that sent RHP Adam Warren to the Cubs.
In his first year with the Yankees, Castro hit .270 with 21 HR and 70 RBI in 577 at-bats.
Castro is owed $30 million through the 2019 season, and trading the three-time All-Star would help New York get closer to being under the luxury tax threshold by 2018, which Sherman notes is the team's internal goal.
The Yankees spent a majority of the offseason looking for a way to shed some payroll in order to shift the cash elsewhere on the roster. We heard Brett Gardner's and Chase Headley's names come up often in the rumor mill. The Yankees placing Castro on the trading block is moderately surprising to me.
This is not because I believe Castro should be cemented in the role for the extended future, but rather I do not see a viable option for this season or maybe even next. I do not believe Rob Refsnyder or Ronald Torreyes are full-time players and they hit from the same side, so there is no platoon option here. The rest of the system has promising middle infielders, but none of them are ready to take this job out of spring training.
I think there is still a chance that Castro, who will be playing in his age-27 season, can put together a full season of productive baseball. He certainly needs to be more consistent across the board, however he has the necessary talent to reach his upside potential.