Astros trade rumors: Jason Castro on the market?

Bob Levey

Jon Heyman is reporting that Jason Castro's name is being floated this winter.

Let the crazy hot stove commence. Another national report targets the Astros, saying that Jason Castro could be the hot name on the market once Brian McCann and Jared Saltalamacchia find homes.

Heyman adds to it in the story, saying:

Castro's name hasn't previously come up as a trade possibility, but the Astros have been known to trade players, even young ones. It isn't certain how serious they are about dealing Castro, who became an All-Star in 2013 for the first time, but Houston is said to like catching prospect Max Stassi very much.

We know the Astros like Stassi. We also know they've collected catchers like they're going out of style since Luhnow took over. We also know that Castro is older, in his prime with balky knees. We also also know that Castro has turned into a leader in the clubhouse and handles the pitching staff well.

That may be the reason Luhnow said as recently as Monday that he wants Castro to stick around.

My take? Castro is an asset. If Houston can turn that asset into more assets that help the 2014 Astros, they'll do it. But, catcher is one of the few pieces where Houston doesn't have a hole in the lineup (though Luhnow appears committed to the entire infield of Dominguez, Villar, Altuve and Chris Carter/Brett Wallace(ew)).

To me, this feels more like teams calling the Astros with interest in the catcher, not Houston actively shopping him. I'm sure GMs are looking at Houston and seeing that they traded the entire team in the past three years. Why wouldn't they trade the next All-Star up? I'm sure Luhnow is patiently listening to everything but that's probably where it ends.

What do you think? Should Castro get dealt? What kind of return would Houston expect for the backstop?

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