NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees filled the last open spot on their everyday roster by acquiring infielder Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in exchange for pitcher Adam Warren and a player to be named later, reportedly Brendan Ryan.
Who they got: Castro is a 25-year-old (26 by Opening Day 2016) right-handed-hitting second baseman who is a career .281 hitter and has averaged 11 home runs and 66 RBIs per year in his first six big league seasons. He is a three-time All-Star and a workhorse, averaging 150 games a season. In 2015, Castro batted .265 with 11 home runs, 69 RBIs and a .671 OPS. By contrast, the Yankees got a .223 batting average, 21 HRS, 64 RBIs and a .683 OPS out of a combination of Stephen Drew, Dustin Ackley, Gregorio Petit, Jose Pirela and Ryan.
Who they lost: Warren was a rare commodity, a pitcher who was equally effective as a starter or out of the pen, and with the temperament to slide from one role to the other without squawking. Warren went 7-7 with a 3.29 ERA last year (7-6, 3.47 as a starter, lower than any other Yankees starter but Luis Severino). While his versatility was prized by the Yankees, it was also a curse; no matter how well he was performing, Warren was always the first pitcher to be sent back to the bullpen when an injured starter returned to the rotation. With the loss of Warren, the Yankees might be less likely to move closer Andrew Miller due to the effect it would have on their bullpen.
Castro convertible: Although he has primarily been a shortstop, Castro played 38 games at second base for the Cubs in 2015, and with the Yankees having traded for Didi Gregorius last winter to be their starting shortstop of the future, it is expected Castro will join the Yankees as their starting second baseman for 2016. He is signed through 2019 -- owed approximately $40 million -- and there is a $16 million team option for 2020.
Who wins the trade?: Ask me in a couple of years, but at first blush, it looks like Yankees GM Brain Cashman pulled off a coup, getting a relatively young, relatively affordable All-Star infielder for a No. 5 starter, and assuming Ryan is the other player, a 33-year-old backup.