Two days ago we heard that the Cubs are letting teams know that almost all of their players -- other than Jeff Samardzija and Starlin Castro -- are available in trades. Chicago's north side will be a hot source of rumors over the next few weeks, so let's keep track of today's news here, with the latest up top...
- Contrary to spring rumors, the Cubs never had a handshake agreement with outfielder Jorge Soler, but their interest in the Cuban was legit and figures to intensify now that he's officially a free agent, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Manager Dale Sveum, who watched Soler workout this offseason, described his hitting as "pretty strong" today.
- Matt Garza is available for the right offer, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter links). The Yankees have interest and Olney speculates that the Blue Jays could be a fit given their need for high-end starting pitching and cache of tradeable prospects.
- "If I'd known that, it would have made me think about it," said Castro to reporters (including Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune) when asked about the trade rumors. "That's what I want — to be here all my career. I don't want to go anywhere. I have my family here. I don't want to be traded."