Word on the street is that the Cubs and Starlin Castro are closing in on a 7-year, $60 million contract extension.
The contract covers four years of arbitration eligibility and three years of free agency, and includes a $16 million option for 2020. Castro, 22, was projected to qualify for salary arbitration as a “Super Two” player at the end of the year.
When contacted by ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com, Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said he would not comment on new contract because the sides are still in the process of negotiating.
Castro said that the deal has not been finalized.
“I’m just focused on playing baseball,” said Castro after the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader in Cincinnati. “When it’s done, I’m ready.”
Cubs president Theo Epstein also said the deal had not been finalized when he spoke to reporters on Saturday afternoon.
Jed Hoyer gave us a glimpse into what to expect on deals like this and in the future on Chicago Tribune Live Thursday.
“One of the problems with free agency is that there is an illusion in some ways that you’re acquiring this great talent,” Hoyer said. “Most of the time, players hit free agency when they’re on the back half of their career. Players peak [at] 26, 27, 28 [years of age]. Free agents [are usually] in their 30s. So, you’re spending a lot of money sometimes for declining performance. It doesn’t mean you don’t do it. It doesn’t mean you don’t seek the right guys out.
“(But) we have to build from within and build young players, because the days of going out and signing young free agents is over,” Hoyer said. “Teams lock up their guys. Look at how many long, multiyear deals teams are signing with their pre-arbitration players. You know that you’re going to delve into free agency, but if you have an offseason plan, or a plan of the future dependent upon those names, I think you’re doing things the wrong way.”
It’s so nice to hear things like this.
The Cubs will take the field today in Cincy hoping to get a series split with the Reds. The prospects don’t look promising as Chris Volstad (0-9, 6.96) takes on Mat Latos (10-3, 3.63). Game time is 12:10 Central, and you’ll be able to watch on WGN. No lineups as of yet.