3.) Which Starlin Castro will show up in 2016?
After a very good April in which he batted .325 in 20 games, Starlin Castro turned into a brooding, slumping mess for the better part of three months. Trade rumors swirled, Castro lost his job to Addison Russell, and storm clouds swirled. Somehow being benched turned Castro back into an All-Star player. Whatever fire Joe Maddon lit underneath the 25-year-old needs to be stoked again next year. Castro batted .296 in August and .369 in September, then hit well again in the playoffs.
Castro will be 26 on Opening Day, as he prepares to kick off his seventh season in the Major Leagues. He’s the longest-tenured Cub and a three-time All-Star. Russell is a defensive upgrade at shortstop, but Castro is better offensively, for now. Over the final two months of the year, Castro showed he is still an offensive force. Now, the Cubs need it over a full year with no attitude problems. If anyone can get that out of the mercurial infielder, it’s Maddon.