Quick Hits: Castro, Cubs, Balfour, Phillies, Yankees

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is fighting to prevent millions of dollars from being seized from his bank accounts, Juan Perez Jr. and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune report. When Castro was 16, his father allegedly signed a contract promising three percent of Castro's big-league earnings to a baseball academy in the Dominican. When Castro signed his $60MM contract in 2012, the academy claimed Castro owed it $1.8MM. Dominican law states that twice that figure be frozen until the matter is resolved, so Dominican authorities have frozen $3.6MM. Castro's lawyers, meanwhile, are fighting for that $3.6MM to be unfrozen, and they're also asking for $5MM in damages. They claim that the academy did not have the right to percentage of Castro's extension. Castro was just 16 when the agreement was with the academy was reached, and he signed the big contract with the Cubs after he turned 18. Castro's father didn't have the right to sign away his earnings past age 18, Castro's attorneys argue. Here are more notes from around the big leagues.

  • There were high expectations for Theo Epstein when he became president of the Cubs, and Andy MacPhail faced similar expectations two decades ago, CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney reports. MacPhail served as president and CEO of the Cubs from 1994 through 2006. Like Epstein, he preceded his tenure in Chicago by winning two World Series titles as a general manager (with the Twins). Like Epstein, MacPhail planned the Cubs' resurgence around young talent, although it didn't work perfectly in MacPhail's case, partly because of the Cubs' struggles to keep pitchers like Kerry Wood and Mark Prior healthy. "We weren’t the luckiest birds in the world, health-wise, with our starting pitchers. But most people forget – I think we had a better won-loss record in ’04 (89-73) than we did ’03 (88-74). So we were kind of building towards it," MacPhail says.
  • Grant Balfour says he told Orioles executive Dan Duquette what he thinks about the O's backing out of his two-year deal with them, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "I called Dan Duquette and told him, 'I’ve played in this league for 10 years, I deserve to be treated with respect and you did not treat me with respect.'" Balfour says. "'Two well respected physicians said I am completely healthy – because I am healthy. I’m a fighter and a winner and I would have given you your best chance to win.'"
  • Jonathan Papelbon and Ruben Amaro Jr. "deserve each other," the Inquirer's Matt Gelb writes. Papelbon has been "surly" about his tenure with the Phillies, and Amaro has been defiant about the Phillies' outlook. The Phillies are trying to trade Papelbon, but they may be stuck, not only because of Papelbon's declining velocity and peripherals, but also because general managers aren't as keen as they once were on spending tens of millions of dollars on closers.
  • The Yankees' additions of switch-hitters Carlos Beltran and Brian Roberts should help balance their lineup, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post. "We were too left-handed last year and [because of injury, in particular] too easy to navigate through at times," says manager Joe Girardi. "I think the switch-hitters make it tougher for the opposing manager." Beltran himself actually hit far better from the left side (.315/.362/.509) than the right side (.252/.281/.448) in 2013, although he's hit only slightly better as a lefty than as a righty for his career.

23 Responses to Quick Hits: Castro, Cubs, Balfour, Phillies, Yankees Leave a Reply

  1. AmericanMovieFan 2 years ago

    Highway robbery by the no doubt meat grinder academy and a greedy parent add up to a very unfair situation for Castro.

  2. Dynasty22 2 years ago

    Seems like Castro should have his money.

  3. Junior7188 2 years ago

    Castro was only 16, he was to young to make that kind of decision but him trying to get $5MM in damages is just wrong of him, that’s a dirty move.

    • Michael Kenny Jr. 2 years ago

      Well if a judge decides the money is his, then he could be entitled to damages, since the academy is tying up $3.6 million of his money that he could otherwise be using.

      • alphabet_soup5 2 years ago

        The sad thing is every MLBTR reader would pray to have the problem of $3.6 million of their money being locked up.

        • AmericanMovieFan 2 years ago

          No we wouldn’t. Castro has made around $8MM lifetime at this point. Subtracting taxes and representative fees and he’s left with around $3.6-4MM. I.E. this is most of his money. Regardless of the fact that the total is $3.6MM it seems to me it leaves Castro with very little money either way. So I think it’s a terrible situation for him, not to mention embarrassing.

          • slider32 2 years ago

            The good thing for him is he will make millions in the years to come.

    • MJensen 2 years ago

      Oh but he sure was young enough to use the academy and its facilities.

    • Nick Kopke 2 years ago

      The 5 million counter suit is to get the Dominican academy to drop its lawsuit I am guessing.

  4. I Want My Bird 2 years ago

    Castro stealing from the Cubs currently :)

  5. MJensen 2 years ago

    “They also claim that the academy did not have the right to Castro’s earnings, in part because Castro was just 16 when the agreement was reached ”

    That’s code for “we managed to cash in with a contract and now we don’t want to give any of it up.”

    • J Z 2 years ago

      More like code for “This shady third world baseball academy knows they don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to a father signing away his son’s earnings through the age of 30, so they’re hoping we’ll settle for a few hundred grand so we can get this resolved quickly and Starlin can get his money back.”

    • kcstengelSr 2 years ago

      If 16 is too young for agreements with academies, isn’t it also too young to be signing with big league teams?

  6. NRD1138 2 years ago

    Castro needs to get this resolved before the season starts, he gets easily distracted now, and this will only be another hurdle to overcome

  7. Marinersforever71 2 years ago

    Balfour will sign w/ Seattle Mariners or Papelbon w/ Cliff Lee & Carlos Ruiz possibly be traded to the Mariners in a 9 or 10 player three team trade involving the Mariners, Phillies, and Pirates (going after Justin Smoak).

  8. Stoibs 2 years ago

    This Castro situation should be a huge story, but it seems like it is just going to be glossed over. How many more stories do we need to hear about players being taken advantage of or having money stolen from them. The MLB is a multi-billion dollar company that is profiting off a bunch of thieves treating kids like indentured servants. There needs to be some big changes in these baseball academies.

  9. BaMafromLa 2 years ago

    Papelbon and RAJ “deserve” each other… so true.

  10. slider32 2 years ago

    Yanks line-up looks balanced, Ellsbury, Jeter, Beltran, McCann, Tex, Soriano, Johnson, Roberts, and Gardner. Girardi is right on the money with his statement.

  11. juice587 2 years ago

    “It’s about spending the money wisely and trying to spend it intelligently,” Amaro said Wednesday. “Why would you spend money that you think is going to be money not well spent? That’s the important part. With the way the market is set up right now, I’m not real comfortable with going the extra mile with some of the guys that are out there still that may improve us a little bit but in the long run may be detrimental to us.”

    Hilarious quote to read when you think of Amaro’s history of contracts including this years (Byrd, Ruiz)

  12. Alyoyo 2 years ago

    “We weren’t the luckiest birds in the world.”

    Translation: Sorry about Dusty Baker, Cubs fans.

  13. Alyoyo 2 years ago

    “We weren’t the luckiest birds in the world.”

    Translation: Sorry about Dusty Baker, Cubs fans.

  14. Zak A 2 years ago

    As a Phillie’s fan I can’t help but feel that we all saw this coming. As soon as RAJ doles these contracts out we smack our foreheads. Who in their right mind gives multi-year deals to players in their 40s (moyer), multi-year deal to Blanton a 5 inning max guy, multiyear to Baez, Contreras, almost giving 44MM to Madson, giving Pap even more. And the recent ones – Rollins, Utley, Ruiz, Byrd (although I like the Byrd signing, just not the $) all getting multi-year deals well over market value for what they were/are when they signed. Keeping players around just for “popularity” or to “sell tickets” isn’t going to work when you go from 105 wins to below 80 for the next few years. Sporting events are a luxury and fans are fickle across the US, they’ll pay to see a winning product that’s outside of Florida. Lee/Hamels make sense – they are still in prime elite pitchers. Howard, that one was unfortunate b/c w/out the injury it’s plausible he’s still hitting 30-40 HRs 110+ RBIs, still a lot for a guy that can’t hit LHP.

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