Cubs sit Starlin Castro, leads to more trade speculation

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Is Starlin Castro on the trade block? | AP

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As the MLB trade deadline approaches on Friday, Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is not in the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Rockies, leading to more speculation about the three-time All Star.

In Tuesday night’s loss, Castro was removed from the game in a double-switch move by manager Joe Maddon and avoided the media afterward.

From the Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer:

By the time he got to the postgame clubhouse he was in no mood to chat with reporters and declined interviews until Wednesday. Whether he’s around by then – or off to Miami or San Diego in a trade for pitching – the Cubs’ roster is in shakeup mode leading up to Friday’s trading deadline.

One of the trade rumors has Castro going to the Padres. ESPN’s Jim Bowden says the Cubs are interested in Padres starter Tyson Ross and closer Craig Kimbrel but would have to part with Castro and at least two minor-league prospects, including pitchers C.J. Edwards and Pierce Johnson and outfielder Billy McKinney.

From Bowden:

This trade would solve two of Chicago’s most glaring problems, with the Cubs adding both an impact starter to pitch behind Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, as well as one of the game’s best closers in Kimbrel. In return, the Padres solve their shortstop issues with Castro, add a young middle-of-rotation starter in Edwards, a power bat and long-term left field solution in McKinney and another pitching prospect in Johnson. The financial savings in the deal also gives the Padres payroll flexibility to improve the team in other areas.

Castro has missed two games this season and missed only five from 2011-2013. Castro is batting 10-of-76 since July 2 with two doubles and no HRs. When the Cubs’ lineup was posted without Castro’s name Wednesday morning, Twitter ran wild with it:

But Maddon said it was nothing more than a shakeup to try and break Castro out of his slump.

Stay tuned.

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