Dubious Report That Nicholas Castellanos Has ‘Agreed in Principle’ to Cubs Deal

We’re a little late to the party on this one, but a dubious report popped up Saturday regarding Nicholas Castellanos and the supposedly foregone conclusion that he is rejoining the Cubs. Or maybe it’s just that he would like to come back and is willing to give the team a little time to work things out. Hope you’ve already got your salt shaker handy from all the previous rumors, because you’re gonna need it.

“I’ve heard from inside sources that Castellanos has agreed in principle to signing with the Cubs,” ESPN 1000 host Mike Murphy said on air. “They’ve asked him to wait.”

This just feels like something where the facts are being stretched a wee bit, to just shy of their breaking point, though I don’t think Murphy is entirely wrong here. We’ve heard more than once that there’s mutual interest between Castellanos and the Cubs, so it does make sense that he’d be willing to wait on them before making any decision to sign elsewhere. There were similar reports last winter that Bryce Harper was also willing to give the Cubs time to see whether they could make him an offer.

While that latter correlation may be little more anecdotal, it’s bolstered ever so slightly by the fact that both men are represented by Scott Boras. But in neither case are we talking about any kind of agreement on an actual deal, more like a tacit understanding that there’s a willingness to work on a deal should things fall the right way. It’s like being engaged to be engaged, just without even having a promise ring yet.

Other credible reports have backed up the Cubs’ apparent lack of funds, holding that there’s “not a chance” for them to sign Castellanos given their current state of affairs. If money is indeed as tight as it seems, the personnel movement required to bring the right fielder back to Wrigley might mean he’d be part of a very different group. Remember, they’ve still got more holes to fill, so clearing $15 million or so for one guy is just the start.

Based on everything else we’ve heard, and maybe more on what we’ve not heard, it sounds like someone just added a little artificial flavor to what was already out there. Basically, it’s the pumpkin spice of rumor season.

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