MESA, Ariz. -- The Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo were rewarded with long-term contracts last season, and Travis Wood experienced a breakout 2013 season that validated the first major trade of the Theo Epstein regime.
But Wood said he didn't have much dialogue with his agent regarding an extension before agreeing to a one-year, $3.9 million contract last month.
"We'll see what happens," Wood said. "I would love to stay here, but right now we've got to get focused on the spring and get ready for the season."
Wood, 27, posted career highs in innings (200) and starts (32) while being named to the National League All-Star team.
MEETING MANIA: Manager Rick Renteria has been delighted at the dialogue between pitchers and catchers during bullpen sessions.
It's not uncommon for a pitcher to summon the catcher toward him and assess certain pitches and locations. Pitcher Jeff Samardzija has been more animated in his chats, but Samardzija said that's just his nature and that he works well with catcher Welington Castillo.
"So the quicker we can get on the same page and know each other and how each other works, even more so than last year, the better it's going to be for everyone," Samardzija said. "He's a smart kid, he wants to win, and he's got a ton of talent."
DEDICATED TO DEMPSTER: Samardzija said he was "blindsided" by by former teammate Ryan Dempster's decision to sit out the 2014 season for health and family reasons and forfeit a $13.25 million salary.
"He doesn't make any rash decisions, so obviously it was calculated and he understood that," Samardzija said. "Maybe it was his time. But from what it sounds like, it doesn't sound like he's totally done. Just maybe he needs to take a break.
"I know how much of a competitor he is. Sitting around and watching isn't going to be the easiest pill to swallow. So I wouldn't be surprised if you saw him back."
Samardzija, a former All-America wide receiver at Notre Dame, credited Dempster for helping him transform into a major league pitcher with his training methods.
HOLD ON OLT: Renteria said Mike Olt will receive the majority of his work at third base as he attempts to recover from vision problems caused by a concussion in November 2012 while playing winter ball.
Before he was traded to the Cubs in July, Olt played some first base and right field in the Texas Rangers organization. They had Gold Glove winner Adrian Beltre at third.
"We'll leave all things open, but we view (Olt) as a third baseman," Renteria said. "We never want to surprise anybody. We'll deal with that if it comes to that at some point. But at this point, he's a third baseman.
"They all have an opportunity to come into camp and show what they're capable of doing. As it plays out, we'll make the decision where they stand."
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