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Starlin Castro would OK position change for Javier Baez's benefit

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Starlin Castro said he'll change positions if the Cubs ask him to.
Starlin Castro said he'll change positions if the Cubs ask him to. (USATSI)

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Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro couldn't have been blamed for looking over his shoulder a bit. After all, he's coming off the worst year of his young career and 21-year-old phenom Javier Baez also plays shortstop. We've seen many situations in the recent past where an established veteran is reluctant -- or even angry -- when asked to change position in lieu of getting a talented youngster into the lineup.

For Castro, that won't be a problem.

"If I need to move positions, I'm OK with that," Castro told "If he is on our team and him being there helps the team win, then I am fine with that. I just want our team to win. That's it."

Baez hit .310 with three doubles and five homers in 42 spring at-bats and has been ranked as a top-10 prospect in all of baseball by many publications. He's gotten some time at second base this spring but will open the season playing shortstop in Triple-A.

Castro, meanwhile, is a two-time All-Star who led the NL with 207 hits in 2011. Sure, he's coming off a bad season (.245/.284/.347), but he has the track record, is only 24 and is signed through 2019 with the Cubs. He could pretty easily make a public or even private declaration that shortstop is his position and Baez would be better served elsewhere. Instead, he's chosen to say the right thing. Kudos for that.

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