Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

[The deal has now been officially announced as Starlin Castro to the Yankees for pitcher Adam Warren and a PTBNL. See the updates below for more.]

The two tracks of the evening are unfolding as rumored.

First, the Chicago Cubs have agreed to sign free agent Ben Zobrist to a four-year, $56 million deal.

Second, the Cubs and Yankees are about to complete a deal involving Starlin Castro:

More soon.

UPDATE: One more report indicating that the deal is actually done:

For tonight, I’m just going to be going through the updates and breaking down the deal. But once that’s all done, it’s going to take me some time to process the fact that the Cubs are actually parting with Starlin Castro, their longest-tenured player by far, and such a polarizing figure for so long. There was always so much to like about Castro, and so much to be tantalized by, which wasn’t always quite reached.

UPDATE 2: And, as earlier rumored, the primary return for Castro appears to be righty Adam Warren (Jack Curry), and the Cubs will also get a PTBNL.

Warren is an interesting swing-type pitcher who will make about $1.5 million in 2016 in his first year of arbitration. He’s not quite of the tier of pitcher you were thinking of when you pondered the Cubs acquiring a cost-controlled young starter, but he could be a very useful arm. And, for Castro, getting Warren and a PTBNL (presumably a Rule 5 eligible player) is, I think, fair. I’ll have to consider it a little more when my mind isn’t swimming.

UPDATE 3: Summing up the evening’s activity so far, it’s essentially like the Cubs traded Starlin Castro plus $20 million for Ben Zobrist, Adam Warren, and a PTBNL. I think the Cubs, right now, are probably a better team overall for the deal, though the risk is that Zobrist shows his age and Castro rebounds well in New York.

UPDATE 4: Reports indicate that the other player in the deal is not really a PTBNL, it’s glove man Brendan Ryan. Now 33, Ryan was, for years, one of the best defensive infielders in baseball. That fell off in the last few since he came to the Yankees, so it’s possible he’s no longer good enough defensively to carry on a 25-man roster. He’s set to make just $1 million in 2016, so if Ryan doesn’t actually make the team, there’s not a huge hit there.

UPDATE 5: The deal has now been officially announced, and it’s Starlin Castro for Adam Warren and a PTBNL. Why the reports on Ryan being the other player? My guess is the Cubs will have the option of taking a Rule 5 eligible player who is not drafted on Thursday OR taking Ryan, and everyone is assuming they’ll take Ryan.

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