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Cubs GM Jed Hoyer says trade talk hasn’t really heated up yet


Astros at Cubs

The facts: 1:20, CSN, 720-AM.

The pitchers: Wandy Rodriguez (6-5, 3.52 ERA) vs. Travis Wood (2-3, 3.54).

Updated: August 2, 2012 10:46AM

Trade talks might move to the front burner now that the signing of Cuban prospect Jorge Soler is official.

General manager Jed Hoyer said trade chatter has been ‘‘probably the same the last week or two. [But] it’s our job to make sure we’re in touch with every team and talking to everyone and [making] sure we know what’s going on.

‘‘Obviously, a lot of teams check in with us, as well. Nothing has changed that way, and I think it will sort of maintain like this until we get a week out [from the July 31 deadline]. And then it heats up.’’

Injuries suffered by contending teams, such as the New York Yankees, who have lost pitchers Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia in the last week, might up the ante for Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and others. But Hoyer said the added wild card in each league also has changed things.

‘‘Things change from week to week,’’ he said. ‘‘It doesn’t take much of a hot streak to get into a race now. . . . It’s hard to characterize how it will play out this year.’’

Praise for Castro

Shortstop Starlin Castro seems the likely choice to be the Cubs’ All-Star representative again. But Castro, 22, might be even happier to hear his bosses consider him a star of the future.

‘‘When we got here, people questioned his ability to stay at shortstop,’’ Hoyer said.‘‘I don’t think there is any question he will be an above-average defensive shortstop in time. He’s made some errors, but he’s 22 years old. I think he’s going to be a shortstop for a long time. He has really proved a lot to us in a short time, and I think he’s only going to get better.’’

Surgery for Stewart?

Surgery on his ailing left wrist might be unavoidable for third baseman Ian Stewart.

‘‘I think it’s a strong likelihood,’’ Hoyer said. ‘‘We have tried to exhaust every option to avoid it, and it may well end up with surgery.’’

Medical tests have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the pain, and cortisone injections haven’t solved the problem.

Volstad to return

Right-hander Chris Volstad will be recalled from Class AAA Iowa to start Tuesday in Atlanta in place of Dempster (sore right lat). Dempster will throw off a mound Monday.

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