#1 After sitting idle without a first-rounder in the NHL draft by jinshuiqian0713 12.10.2018 02:51

CHICAGO - Starlin Castro understands why the Chicago Cubs were concerned. Matteo Darmian Jersey . He was scared, too.Authorities questioned the All-Star shortstop last month after a nightclub shooting in the Dominican Republic. In a separate case earlier in the off-season, Castro had just left a club in his home country when another shooting occurred.I just say that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, Castro said Friday on the opening day of the Cubs weekend fan convention. I want let everybody know that I dont even know what happened. ... Im not that kind of person.The 24-year-old is beginning his sixth season with Chicago after hitting .292 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs in 134 games last year. He already has started training in Arizona and is thinking about moving his family to the U.S. after the rocky off-season in his native county.Just too many problems over there to try to cost me, and I dont even know what happened, said Castro, who has not been charged in connection with either shooting in the Dominican. I got to move. I got to do something.The situation with Castro was perhaps the only trouble for the Cubs in a strong off-season.There was a palpable buzz at the teams 30th annual convention after Chicago signed ace Jon Lester and brought in manager Joe Maddon in search of its first playoff appearance since 2008.Castro signed with the Cubs as an amateur free agent in 2006, and then agreed to a seven-year contract in 2012 that includes a club option for the 2020 season. He is a .284 career hitter, and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein made it sound as if the club plans to stand by him.I think the most important thing is that Starlin has responded to this adversity really well, Epstein said. Hes taken a mature approach and figured out that he needed to make some changes. He needed to change his environment in order to put himself in the best position to A. keep him and his family safe and B. to prepare the right way for a season to try to win a championship.The title talk for the Cubs is something new for Epstein after major renovations for both the roster and Wrigley Field dominated the first part of his time in Chicago.Its just nice to transition to the point where were building the organization but were building a major league team that can compete, Epstein said. Our fans deserve to get excited about it.Epstein said he is comfortable with the current roster heading into spring training, but they could make a few tweaks. The Cubs agreed to one-year deals with outfielder Chris Coghlan ($2,505,000), catcher Welington Castillo ($2.1 million), infielder Luis Valbuena ($4.2 million) and pitchers Jake Arrieta ($3.63 million) and Travis Wood ($5,685,000) before the start of the convention, leaving reliever Pedro Strop as the only Cubs player still in arbitration. He asked for a raise from $1,325,000 to $3 million, and he was offered $2 million.Castillo is one of three veteran catchers on the roster after the Cubs traded for Miguel Montero and signed David Ross to a $5 million, two-year contract in December.I think theres a scenario where our roster could handle three catchers and give Joe some opportunity to mix and match and do some matchup stuff, but were open to the possibility of a trade as well, Epstein said. Were not hiding the ball on that.Montero, a two-time All-Star, hit .243 with 13 homers and 72 RBIs for Arizona last season, but his acquisition was overshadowed by the moves for Lester and Maddon. The active winter led first baseman Anthony Rizzo to predict the Cubs would win the NL Central title this year, and his teammates supported the slugger before the start of the convention.Were all pulling the same rope, so I stand behind my teammate, said Lester, who agreed to a $155 million, six-year contract in December. Were going to go out there and hopefully thats the first goal that were going to try to make.___Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap Ander Herrera Jersey . The match, billed as a "next-gen" encounter between two of the sports rising stars, lasted two and a half hours. The loss kept Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., from reaching a third fourth-round spot in Melbourne over the past four years. Michael Carrick Jersey . Funny, they looked like longtime friends during Pittsburghs 5-1 demolition of Dallas on Tuesday night. Quick to the puck and even quicker to the net, the Penguins top line overwhelmed the suddenly struggling Stars as Pittsburgh bounced back from a dismal weekend sweep at the hands of Philadelphia by jumping on Dallas early. http://www.manunitedfcpro.com/ . "Last year we were in a ton of situations, late-game situations we couldnt pull out. Wed kind of fold under the pressure, get frustrated or let a big shot frustrate us," guard DeMar DeRozan said.PHILADELPHIA - After sitting idle without a first-rounder in the NHL draft, one Ottawa Senators scout was thrilled to get to make some picks on Day 2. "The scouts were happy," general manager Bryan Murray said. "I think somebody shook my hand at the end." That wasnt the handshake Murray went into the weekend hoping for. And try as he did, he was unable to consummate a trade to give centre Jason Spezza his wish to leave Ottawa. "I called the teams or took calls from teams that were interested," Murray said Saturday. "We talked about the return, the type of deal we wanted to make. In a couple of cases there was real interest and it went away. So I dont know whether it was because of the draft and on the day of the draft picks are very valuable, whether that was part of it or it was something different." Murray wanted a first-round pick, a roster player and a prospect for his captain, who has a limited no-trade clause and thus the power to refuse to go to 10 teams. One of those 10 is Nashville, which had a deal worked out to get Spezza that couldnt go through because he didnt agree to go to the Predators. "David (Poile) talked to me and we couldnt go there," Murray said. "I told (Spezzas agent) Rick Curran that today, I had a deal sitting there if I wanted to do it, but he was on the list of no-gos." A Senators-Predators deal mightve landed Ottawa the 11th pick. Instead, Poile pulled the trigger on getting winger James Neal from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Considering that and the Anaheim Ducks trade with the Vancouver Canucks for centre Ryan Kesler, Murray knnows that "the field narrows a little bit. Daley Blind Jersey. ." Murray estimated that he talked to four or five teams about Spezza and that three expressed fairly serious interest. It never worked out, leaving everyone in the situation still hanging. “Im sure its disappointing for him, its disappointing for me because Id like to accommodate him if I could, but he does have a year left on his contract," Murray said. "If thats the case well have a pretty good player for next year." Or its possible that teams circle back to the Senators after July 1 if they dont land Paul Stastny or another free-agent centre. As far as Ottawas approach to the start of free agency, thats affected by Spezza, too. "I dont know, thats the problem," Murray said. "Part of your decision is what can you spend, where does it fit and what do you get in return for a certain player? If you dont know that, then its harder." Unable to get anything done on the Spezza front, the Senators made five picks to stock up for the future. They took defenceman Andreas Englund 40th, defenceman Miles Gendron 70th, forward Shane Eiserman 100th, defenceman Kelly Summers 189th and left-winger Francis Perron 190th. The 189th pick, a seventh-rounder, Ottawa got from the Winnipeg Jets for a 2015 sixth-rounder. That was the only trade Murray was able to make in Philadelphia. "It just seemed to me there were a lot of phone calls, a lot of talking, people interested, but nothing really happened," he said. "I had to make one trade at the end, a seventh-round pick for the sixth next year just to say I did something. So that was my accomplishment." 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