Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Extremely apropos of the open-wondering I did in the Lukewarm Stove a couple hours ago, Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal report this:

I offer the Lukewarm Stove link not as a back-pat (given the Padres’ open desire for middle infielders and the not-too-tough-to-suspect Cubs’ interest in shopping Castro, there were no surprising revelations there), but as a way to point back to that discussion, as I won’t be re-hashing it here.

Castro, 25, probably still has trade value despite his nightmarish 2015 season, but it’s unlikely he could net anything substantial of his own accord. Instead, a deal involving Castro would probably be a modestly complex financial transaction, involving an overall benefit (not the least of which would be ancillary future roster considerations), but one that might not smack you across the face when you see the return.

That the Cubs would be interested in the Padres’ starters is no surprise, given that three are under team control for a bit (Shields/Ross/Cashner) and a fourth is a cost-effective rental (Kennedy). We’ve talked about Shields/Castro before, and, financially, it should be a no-go for the Cubs. Of course, for what it’s worth, Morosi followed his initial tweet with:

Given that, after this year, Shields is owed $65 million for his ages 34, 35, and 36 seasons, whereas Castro is owed about $42 million for his ages 26, 27, 28, and 29 seasons, I don’t quite agree with that financial assessment. At least not straight up. If the Padres are eating substantial dollars, then maybe it would make sense.

Ross and Cashner are attractive controlled pieces, but fitting them into a Castro deal, as I said, is complicated.

We’ll see if this develops into something worth following closely, or if it’s just another situation where teams checked in and moved on.

That said, we do know that there are fits for the Cubs on the Padres, as we’ve discussed many times. For example:

So, even if not involving Castro, there are going to be things to follow over in San Diego. Buckle up.

UPDATE: One more from Morosi, who is really getting into the Castro/Shields thing:

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