MINNEAPOLIS - Don't count on Starlin Castro parachuting in to provide an upgrade at shortstop for the Mets in the second half. That's because the Cubs are likely to hold on to Castro for the remainder of this season, according to a source familiar with the team's thinking, and might consider moving him to third base in 2015.
Castro's name became connected with the Mets after the Cubs acquired highly regarded shortstop Addison Russell from the A's. The teams figured to be a match because of the Mets' pitching depth, an area of need for the Cubs.
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Another of the Cubs' shortstops, Javier Baez, could be dangled in trade discussions. Castro has about $49 million left on a deal that runs through 2019, so it's not as though the Cubs have to rush into any decisions.
"I'm not even thinking about that," Castro said at Monday's All-Star media session. "I'm here right now."
Cano's last laugh
Robinson Cano was criticized for choosing money over winning when he signed a 10-year, $240-million contract last December with the Mariners, who appeared destined for another season in the AL West cellar. But Seattle (51-44) owns the second wild card and the Yankees limped into the break at 47-47.
"I never said I wanted to go for the big contract," Cano said yesterday. "I'm happy where I'm at and we're playing really good. I don't think about [the Yankees]."
Time to go, Tulo?
Troy Tulowitzki expects to finish this season with the Rockies despite a recent conversation with management about exploring trade options, as first reported by CBSSports.com. But Tulowitzki, due about $105 million through 2020, said they could discuss facilitating a trade in the offseason if Colorado is in rebuilding mode. The Yankees will be in the market for a shortstop to replace Derek Jeter.
"Maybe that's something for the offseason to sit down and talk about," Tulowitzki said. "I want to be part of a winning team."
Price is right
The Rays aren't ready to wave the white flag yet, and David Price is a necessary part of any Tampa Bay resurgence. But if they do slip out of contention and look to trade Price for prospects, the Rays' ace said he'd be willing to listen if the front office gave him a choice of landing spots.
"Yeah, there's a couple of teams I wouldn't mind going to," Price said. "I have some in mind."
Price wouldn't reveal the names, but if he's adamant about keeping his current beard, the Yankees aren't likely to be one of them.
AL manager John Farrell saw Masahiro Tanaka twice in the first half and lamented that the rookie, selected as an All-Star, has been sidelined by a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
"He's a guy I know we will have to contend with for a number of years," the Red Sox manager said. "But unfortunately, the injury has kept him out."
With Erik Boland