Cubs are planning to shop starter Jeff Samardzija at next week’s MLB Winter Meetings

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There was a report Sunday stating that the Cubs’ preference with Jeff Samardzija is to work out a long-term contract extension. But it appears that those negotiations have lost all momentum.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is hearing that the Chicago front office plans to “do some serious listening” on the 28-year-old right-hander at next week’s Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida. The Diamondbacks, Blue Jays and Angels are among the teams that have been floated as potential suitors this offseason.

Samardzija posted a pedestrian 4.34 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 33 starts this summer for the Cubs, but he struck out 214 batters in 213 2/3 innings and had much better rate stats (3.81 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) in 2012.

Samardzija is arbitration-eligible through the 2015 season. He earned a $2.64 million salary in 2013.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.