The Chicago Cubs may be inclined to trade catcher Welington Castillo and possibly left-hander Travis Wood before the team heads to Spring Training, as David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com speculates. A number of teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies, have shown interest.
Both Castillo and Wood have been victims' of the Cubs' busy offseason. Castillo has been displaced by Miguel Montero, acquired in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and will have to compete for the backup job with free agent signee David Ross. With Castillo being worth approximately 5.5 WAR over the past two years, he seems to be too valuable of a player to be languishing on the bench, or in Triple-A, making a trade the obvious remedy. The 27-year-old backstop broke out in 2013, hitting .274/.349/.297 for a 107 wRC+ and 3.3 WAR. His offense declined last season, as he posted a 91 wRC+, but he was still worth 2.2 WAR, which was good enough to rank 15th in the majors.
Wood, meanwhile, still has a starting job, though he is likely going to have to compete with the likes of Felix Doubront and Tsuyoshi Wada for the fifth spot in the rotation, thanks to the additions of Jason Hammel and Jon Lester. Like Castillo, the 27-year-old Wood was excellent in 2013 (3.11 ERA, 124 ERA+, 4.4 WAR in 200.0 innings pitched), but he fell back last season, struggling to the tune of a 5.03 ERA, 4.38 FIP, and -0.9 WAR in 173.2 innings. Still, his peripherals point to a potential bounce-back candidate.
Also per Kaplan, the Cubs are apparently "kicking the tires" on free agent right-hander James Shields, who will reportedly make his decision by the end of the week. If the Cubs do wind up with Shields, that seems to only further the odds of Wood being dealt.