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Blowout clearance sale at Crazy Theo’s! Everything must go!!!

May 31, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

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Bob Nightengale reports that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have basically put a price tag on everything except Jeff Samardzija and is accepting offers. Yes, even for Starlin Castro:

The Cubs are letting teams know that nearly everyone but starter Jeff Samardzija is available, two high-ranking team officials told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because of competitive reasons … shortstop Starlin Castro already is a star at 22 but can be obtained for two impact prospects.

I’d be shocked if Castro was actually moved — who gives up “two impact prospects” for one not-yet superstar? — but lots of vultures will be circling the Cubs’ carcass this summer.

  1. diehardcubbiefan4life - May 31, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Yeah OK, Castro ain’t going NOwhere unless we get a package of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

    • doctorfootball - May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      I’d rather have Trout or Harper over Castro. Castro can hit, but defensively his footwork is, for lack of a better word, atrocious. And he plays every ball so nonchalantly. As if every play is an easy play. Also, there’s a reason Theo is willing to deal him. You don’t put young shortstops, with star potential on the market, unless you dont believe in him or you don’t want to deal with him any longer.

    • deadeyedesign23 - May 31, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      The Cubs could do that deal straight up for one of those 2 and be MILES ahead in that trade.They’re younger, better hitters and above average defenders.

      • natstowngreg - May 31, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        Much as I like Harper, he’s not an above-average defender. Remember, he’s been an outfielder for a couple of years. He’s learning defense the hard way, day-to-day at the MLB level. He could become a very good defender, but it will take time. Trout, who has much more experience, seems to be doing a pretty good job defensively,

      • deadeyedesign23 - May 31, 2012 at 8:17 PM

        Maybe you’re right. I’ve only had the opportunity to watch him a few times here in NY so I’m going on a small sample size. That said Castro is a butcher and a pineapple could play a better SS and I’m a Cub fan.

  2. flaviusflav - May 31, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    This just a trick to make teams want to trade for Samardzija.

    • pmcenroe - May 31, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      these are not the Samardzija you are looking for…

      • El Bravo - May 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        Well played. Well fucking played.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 31, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      Never thought I’d see the day where HE would be the one untouchable. But the way he’s throwing so far this year, it makes sense to keep him for the sake of having SOMEBODY.

      Personally, I want Garza to be the one untouchable. I frickin love that guy.

  3. davebrownspiral - May 31, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    “I’d be shocked if Castro was actually moved — who gives up “two impact prospects” for one not-yet superstar?”

    Brian Cashman, one of the worst GM’s in all of baseball would and has. Montero and Noesi for Pineda. The trade might end up being worse than Phelps for Buhner. Actually, I’m pretty sure it will end up being worse than Phelps for Buhner.

    • mreezybreezy - May 31, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      Frank Costanza would agree with you….

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Yeah, that trade looks a lot worse when you don’t include one of the players the yanks got back in that deal. Also, judging a deal with more than 80% of the players team control left is a bright move as well.

  4. pellypell - May 31, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Everyone relax, Theo knows what he is doing.

    See: Carl Crawford, J.D. Drew, Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lackey, Mike Cameron, Eric Gagne, Julio Lugo, Edgar Renteria.

    The guy obviously knows talent!

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 31, 2012 at 3:16 PM

      Yeah, except for building those 2 world series teams, the guy has never done anything!

      • brewcrewfan54 - May 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        You’re giving Theo a lot of the credit that Dan Duquette still deserves.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:47 AM

        Duquette definitely deserves heaps of credit, but so does Theo. The Nomar trade alone brought Cabrera and Doug M, who were big parts of that team. He also traded for Dave Roberts, and that worked out pretty well for the ALCS. Not to discredit Duquette, but Theo had a big hand in the construction of that 2004 WS team.

      • howiehandles - Jun 1, 2012 at 5:25 AM

        Duquette deserves credit on the first, but not the second.

    • Jack Marshall - May 31, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Or, on the other hand, David Ortiz, Keith Foulke, Victor Martinez, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, Curt Schilling, Jerrod Saltalomacchia, Alfredo Aceves, Dave Roberts, Adrian Gonzalez…you can make anyone look bad by only listing the gambles that didn’t work out. (J.D. was fine, and the jury is out on Crawford.)

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 31, 2012 at 3:28 PM

      Name one GM with a 100% track record. Crawford had no flags, nor did Daisuke – who half the damn league was interested in. Lackey was coming off a great year, and Gagne wasn’t far removed from his LA dominance. Drew had been a productive hitter for years, as was Renteria.

      Hindsight is 20/20 sometimes. S**t happens.

      • themuddychicken - May 31, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        Heck, I’d argue that the Gagne trade was a prime example of a good trade that just happened not to work out. Before the trade, he had a 2.16 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 16-17 in save opportunities, in Arlington of all places (if faulty human memory serves, I seem to remember watching as Pedroia gave him his loan blown save).

        Adding him to what was already a good bullpen was not a bad decision, it just didn’t work out… how was anyone supposed to know he would singlehandedly turn the Sox from a 100-win team to a 96-win team?

        Some poor decisions work out anyway. Some good decisions go unrewarded.

    • KR - May 31, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      Drew was great, and any intelligent fan will tell you so. Daisuke didn’t become the expected superstar, but he was decent enough and earned his contract anyway. Cameron became injured. Renteria had a bad year in Boston but was ok in later years, so it wasn’t a talent evaluation failure on Theo’s part there.

      Crawford is iffy; wait and see.

      Will totally give you Lugo and Lackey though.

  5. petercrammons2004 - May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Ha. Don’t underestimate the out of the box thinking of THE GREAT Theo Epstein! He will drive you crazy with some of his moves. This is the same GM who declared JD Drew was worth a “tick” over $14M a year (this after not driving in more than 65 runs in any of his first 3 years with Boston). Castro’s OBP is sub-par and his defense is shaky. Two big no-nos in the world of Theo. He will find numbers to dismiss the fact Castro is only 22 years old and had 207 hits last year. Good luck Chicago.

    • KR - May 31, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      Did you seriously just cite RBI to evaluate a player?

      • braddavery - May 31, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        Well, you can’t win games without RBI. HRs (the ultimate RBI) and RBI are underrated in today’s current stat-head climate.

  6. trybe29dr - May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Why is jeff samardzija unavailable but starlin castro is? Epstein must have something against having all star shortstops on his team

    • pellypell - May 31, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      He wouldn’t recognize an All Star Short stop if he saw one.

    • El Bravo - May 31, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      dumb. i never thought i’d say this, but samadfhds;ahjfsafjdsajfdsjaja is clearly overrated

    • jwbiii - May 31, 2012 at 4:34 PM

      Junior Lake is hitting 300/370/489 at AA. The Cubs have a replacement in the pipeline for Castro.

  7. number42is1 - May 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    BUT WAIT…. THERES MORE!

  8. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Oh geez. I’m glad to see the Cubs running like a 21st century team finally, but you’d think Theo would at least let us have a star SS after not having had one since Nomar.

  9. hermanbates - May 31, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Hmm. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Castro moved. He’s a head ache and not what the team needs. You don’t think Boston wouldn’t at least think about it? Will Middlebrooks and Bryce Brentz for Castro? Done. Julio Teheran and Christhian Betancourt? Done. Starling Marte and Stetson Allie? Done. There are definitely teams who will be willing to make the move. And teams that could. And should. And, probably, will.

    • js20011041 - May 31, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      No way. Middlebrooks isn’t a future star, but neither is Castro. With Youkilis aging, they’ll need him. Besides, Aviles is giving them adequate production at SS.

      • js20011041 - May 31, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        And I completely glossed over Teheran and Betancourt for Castro. Seriously? The Braves would be absolutely nuts to give up just Teheran for Castro. But to give up a catcher with a lot of potential too, absolutely not.

  10. joshftw - May 31, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I’ll believe it when I see a picture of Theo dressed like a used car salesman. Plaid sports coat and all!

  11. Alex K - May 31, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I doubt that Castro will be traded. It does, however, make sense that they wouldn’t take it totally off the table just to see what people will throw at them.

    And one reason they probably didn’t put a price on Samardzija is because his history of success is so small that they won’t get the type of return that they believe he could be worth.

  12. randygnyc - May 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    The Yankees will take Garza and dempster, in return for taking Soriano and his hefty salary. There, solved.

    • purnellmeagrejr - May 31, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      I’m sure the Yankees would; unfortunately for them it takes two to make a trade and there is no reason for the Cubs to do the deal.

      • natstowngreg - May 31, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        Doesn’t matter. The Yankees have a need. The Yankees are rich. The Yankees are entitled to win the World Series every year. Therefore, the Yankees are entitled to whomever they want, at whatever price they want.

    • jwbiii - May 31, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      So what’s the return? Cano and ptbnl (Gardner if he proves healthy, Bichette if not)?

  13. Gobias Industries - May 31, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    It’s insane!!!!!!

  14. humanexcrement - May 31, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Not mentioning any names here, but I have a sneaking suspicion some of the “commenters” are actually HBT writers logging into another account to say things they wouldn’t say if it meant risking their professional reputation.

    • pellypell - May 31, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      You got me!

  15. gloccamorra - May 31, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    You can’t discount that the leak of “everybody’s available” might be a psychological move to shake Cubs players of their complacency, even Starlin Castro. Kevin Towers did the same after 2010, pretending to “shop” the D’backs’ best player, Upton. Judging by 2011, it had the effect of telling the whole team nobody’s safe here, and Theo had to notice.

    Of course, Theo had to resort to the nuclear option, putting the whole team on the block, to get the same effect in Cubbie Land. During the Cubs’ 3-game sweep, Castro looked more engaged, but Soriano apparently didn’t get the message, lackadaisically turning a couple of Padres singles into hustling doubles.

  16. madhatternalice - May 31, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    If nobody comes down and takes Alfonso Soriano off my hands, I’m gonna club this baby seal! That’s right! I’m gonna club this seal to make a deal!!

  17. braddavery - May 31, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Wow. Lot of Starlin hate going on here. The dude is an outright STUD. Sure, he is no Barry Larkin in the field, but the kid can do it all with the bat and with his legs on the basepaths.

    • Old Gator - May 31, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Too bad the Feesh can’t use him. It’d be great to interview Slobbering Ozzie after the kid had a great game so Ozzie could say, “man, I love that Castro!”

      • ta192 - May 31, 2012 at 8:02 PM

        Should have italicized “that”, otherwise you could get the man in trouble again…lol

  18. chadh88 - May 31, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    We’ll take Castro in St Louis. We will give you Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso. We’ll move Starlin to 2nd base.

  19. jarhead87 - May 31, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Bring the kids up now

  20. brownsbraves11 - May 31, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Ryan Dempster and Darwin Barney please.

  21. howiehandles - Jun 1, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Everyone step off the ledge. Any GM would say that everyone, pretty much, is available at the right price. This is coming from one reporter, not the Cubs. Lets also remember, news these days is more about page views and re-tweets, than actual reporting.

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