Cubbies Crib: Morning Marquee 12/22

The Cubs signed four players to minor league deals this week, including left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who will compete for a bullpen spot. Also signed were left-handers Tsuyoshi Wada and Tommy Hottovy, and outfielder Mitch Maier. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has a lawsuit filed in the Dominican Republic by a former youth coach, who’s claiming breach of contract over money promised by Castro’s father.

In free agency, the Texas Rangers signed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract while reports indicate the Rakuten Golden Eagles will not post star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. The Jeff Samardzija and David Price trade rumors continue to circulate and Nelson Cruz remains unsigned.

Chicago Tribune: Starlin Castro‘s head at the heart of the on-field woes

CSN Chicago: Cubs: Andy MacPhail knows what Theo Epstein’s going through

ESPN MLB: Cubs could have gem in Ruggiano

Daily Herald: Three cheers for White Sox wheeler-deal Hahn

Chicago Sun-Times: White Sox add relievers Scott Downs, Ronald Belisario

Fox Sports: ‘Balfour Rage’ not catching on in Baltimore — O’s back out of deal

CBS Sports: Now closing for the Orioles … Tommy Hunter?

ESPN Dallas: Rangers land OF Shin-Soo Choo

Baltimore Sun: Orioles LHP Troy Patton suspended 25 games without pay for amphetamine use

NBC Sports: Where does Nelson Cruz go from here?

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