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Cubs: Let the fire sale begin

According to a USA Today report, the Cubs have declared themselves to be open for business with every player on their roster except for pitcher Jeff Samardzija available for the taking.

Even shortstop Starlin Castro is on the list, which is shocking because of his considerable -- albeit raw -- talent. He's hitting .317 with 15 stolen bases in 20 attempts.

Castro has exceptional range in the field and he is a hitting machine. But he has been known to suffer stunning mental lapses on the field. During one game against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Castro had his back to the hitter as he manicured the dirt on the infield as his hurler was delivering a pitch.

The Wee Bears are apparently asking for two "impact prospects" in exchange for Castro.

The Cardinals' obvious need is a bullpen lefty. The Cubs only have one of those, James Russell, who has a 2-0 record with a 1.54 ERA. He's 22 hits and 10 walks in 23 1/3 innings with 19 strikeouts.

Those doesn't seem like the sort of results for which the Birds would be willing to trade anyone of value to a division rival. Maybe the Wee Bears, whose starting catcher is hitting .161, would be interested in giving Bryan Anderson a fresh start... But somehow I doubt it.