This is something that will probably be held up as the latest example of how news travels and can be quickly distorted in the immediate dash to report stories quickly (“BREAKING“) on social media.
Earlier Saturday afternoon, reports circulated out of the Dominican Republic that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro had been arrested by authorities for questioning in connection with a nightclub shooting that injured six people.
#Cubs SS Starlin Castro arrested Saturday by authorities for questioning by a shooting that left 6 injured by bullets, police said.
— Enrique Rojas/ESPN (@Enrique_Rojas1) December 27, 2014
But as it turns out — and Rojas corrected this within an hour — Castro was not actually arrested. He was detained by authorities. That’s obviously an important distinction, one that perhaps got lost in rapid translation or just mistakenly used in the rush to get this news posted on Twitter. Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, told media that the Cubs shortstop voluntarily went to police to be questioned about the incident.
“He wasn’t involved. He wasn’t arrested or detained,” Kinzer said to MLB.com. “He voluntarily went into the police so they could know that he wasn’t involved. They told him they knew that because there was video and he wasn’t involved and they had no problem with him.
“The thing is, (media reports) put out that he has been arrested for questioning. When is anyone ever arrested for questioning? He had nothing to do with it. He just happened to be at the club. He heard there was a problem and he went out the back door and left. Then he went to the police to make sure they knew he wasn’t involved.”
Dominican newspaper El Caribe reported that Castro’s brother and bodyguards were arrested, but Kinzer only spoke on his client’s behalf.
Jacobo Mateo Moquete, spokesman for the Dominican National Police, confirmed that Castro had been questioned at the prosecutor’s office in Monte Cristi. In the meantime, police searched Castro’s house and an investigation is ongoing. And maybe “search” isn’t putting it quite strongly enough.
Tweet from @Jacobommoquete says Starlin Castro’s house “was raided” by Dominican national police and local authorities in Montecristy.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 27, 2014
This is the second incident within a month that Castro has been associated with back home. Earlier in December, Castro and Engel Beltre (who spent last season in the Rangers organization) were questioned by police regarding a shootout during a concert in Santo Domingo in which three people were injured. But Castro was cleared of any involvement and Kinzer said he believed Castro’s name came up only because he was seen at the club.
However, Kinzer acknowledged that the Cubs weren’t happy that Castro’s name has twice been involved with such incidents. We’ve seen several examples of highly paid MLB players becoming targets when they return to their home countries during the offseason. Castro’s name showing up twice on the police blotter in three weeks may not be a coincidence. Though it’s certainly possible that Castro has just encountered some very bad luck.
Fair or not, those who would like to see the Cubs trade Castro due to the organization’s abundance of middle infielders, including Javier Baez and Addison Russell, will surely point to these events and suggest the team let the 24-year-old and the remaining five years and $44 million on his contract (which could increase to $59 million if his 2020 club option is picked up) become someone else’s problem.
We may find out in the weeks and months to come if the Cubs front office reaches a similar conclusion.