Over the weekend Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro was questioned about his involvement in a shooting - the second this month - and now the team is interested in a veteran infielder. They're also looking for a veteran outfielder to provide depth.
Castro was freed on Saturday after being questioned by police about his involvement in a nightclub shooting that occurred early Saturday morning in the Dominican Republic. Despite being cleared from this incident and the one earlier this month, the Cubs told the shortstop's agent "they aren't happy his name is involved."
Now, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Chicago is interested in veteran shortstop Stephen Drew. After a dismal 2014 campaign during which the 31-year-old slashed .162/.237/.299 in 85 games, a number of teams are hoping they can land him on the cheap. Chicago could use some middle infield depth since they have their starting second baseman, Javier Baez, listed as their backup shortstop, and their starting center fielder Arismendy Alcantara, listed as their backup second baseman. Drew can play both positions and has nine MLB seasons under his belt.
The fact that Castro's name was mentioned in recent shootings is probably not sitting well with Chicago and they are likely looking for depth in case something were to develop.
The Cubs are also potentially searching for a veteran outfielder. Chicago is lacking veteran leadership in most areas of their roster, but they at least have Jon Lester and Miguel Montero who they acquired this offseason. The outfield is an aspect of the roster that has been overlooked with all the Lester talk since the offseason began. They have youngsters Arismendy Alcantara and Jorge Soler in center and right, who have limited MLB experience, and the team's depth chart has Chris Coghlan in left field, but he has only played 518 games in six seasons.
Their backups? Ryan Sweeney, Junior Lake and Matt Szczur.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe noted on Sunday that the Indians were looking to trade Nick Swisher, who he says could be an option for the Cubs if the Indians eat some of his salary. Chicago has also expressed interest in free agent Jonny Gomes for a while, as well as Colby Rasmus, but not much has developed. Nori Aoki and Ichiro Suzuki are still available and they would provide a decent bat and much professional experience.
Chicago needs some more veterans to join the roster especially since 22-year-old Kris Bryant will be joining the team at some point in 2015. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein expects the team to contend for a division title, but they're going to need some more experienced players to help guide their youth.