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Sources deny Cubs are trying to trade Starlin Castro

Cubs batter StarlCastro looks back Brewers pitcher    Shaun Marcum after striking out sixth inning as Chicago Cubs

Cubs batter Starlin Castro looks back at Brewers pitcher Shaun Marcum after striking out in the sixth inning as the Chicago Cubs host the Milwaukee Brewers Monday April 9, 2012 at Wrigley Field. | TOM CRUZE~Sun-Times

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Updated: May 31, 2012 5:38PM

Multiple sources from inside and outside the Cubs’ organization refuted a USA Today report Thursday that the team was making All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro available in possible trades.


Once next week’s draft is complete, the Cubs are expected to shift their focus toward the July 31 trading deadline, and are expected to be among the most active sellers in the market.


But while most players on the last-place team will be available, the 22-year-old Castro won’t be one of them.


``Castro is one of the core players we are building around. Nothing has changed,’’ team president Theo Epstein said via e-mail Thursday. ``We look forward to Starlin wearing a Cubs uniform for a long time.’’


Castro, who led the National League with 207 hits last season, could be a key part of a next-generation Cubs’ core that includes starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija and top hitting prospect Anthony Rizzo.


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