Report: Cubs Working on Long-Term Deal for Starlin Castro

According to a report from David Kaplan, the Cubs and Starlin Castro are working on a long-term deal that would keep Castro in a Cubs’ uniform for at least six years. The deal could be six or more years in length and is expected to be “big, big money” according to Kaplan. The Cubs are looking to buy out his four arbitration years and at least two free agent years. If the deal is for six years, Castro would become a free agent at just 28 years old.

David Kaplan reported on WGN Radio that the deal could be made official by the end of the season, if not sooner.

Updated 10:55pm CDT Bruce Levine spoke with Starlin Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, Thursday. Kinzer confirmed Kaplan’s report with Levine that he and the Cubs have been working on a contract extension for Castro “for a period of time.” Kinzer told Levine, “Starlin would like to be a Chicago Cub for many years to come.”

David Kaplan’s sources indicated the deal would be essential for the Cubs due to the fact the previous regime brought Starlin Castro up too soon in the 2010 season.

From David Kaplan: “If Castro continues to develop into one of the best shortstops in baseball and he reaches free agency in four years, he will be unbelievably expensive to retain for the Cubs,” the source told me. “This is very smart business by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. They will know what their costs are for a significant amount of time going forward and for Castro, he will have lifetime security rather than going year-to-year during arbitration until he completes six full years in the game.”

Starlin Castro has Super-Two arbitration status due to the decision the Cubs made to bring him up a couple of months too early to help a team that was going nowhere.

From David Kaplan: “That decision was crazy because that Cubs team was going nowhere,” he told me. “I understand that the Cubs were trying to save the season in 2010 but it certainly raised eyebrows around the game and it is costing the Cubs a lot of money that they shouldn’t have had to spend.”

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  • RMercer69

    Please, please, please, get this done!

  • John_CC

    “Starlin Castro has Super-Two arbitration status due to
    the decision the Cubs made to bring him up a couple of months too early
    to help a team that was going nowhere.”

    Oh, the good ole days. Yet reading the general sentiment day in and out, you’d think the franchise was in worse hands today.

    • paulcatanese

      What ever happened to “buy low and sell high”?
      Had to throw that one in here:)

      • Tony_Hall

        That is on players you don’t intend to keep.

        When you determine you want to keep a player, you should do what they are doing. JH should have done this already.

        When you decide a player isn’t part of the long term (like I was saying about Soto for years) then you trade them when their value is at it’s highest.

        • paulcatanese

          Agree Tony, notice the “smily”.
          But in all seriousness, if they are going to lock up Casro for a number of years, they should consider the same for Barney, anyone into stats should see
          that Castro declines seriously when Barney is not his partner out there.
          Nothing that shows on paper, but intangables with another over at second. Castro believes in Barney and knows he can count on him.
          As far as Castro’s defensive improvement this year
          (hardly call 18 errors and improvement) he can rack that improvement up to Barney and Rizzo, and that trio should be around for a few more years. Without those two at his back, I wonder, would 18 errors be at a minimum right now?

          • Tony_Hall

            You do realize that Castro is in the Top 10 in defensive WAR in all of baseball. Errors are just one simple stat on defense.

            As far as Barney, only if it is very club friendly, will they look at extending him. 2B has a ton of depth in our system, and he is the type of player, that I love until they get expensive, ex. Theriot. Even though I like Barney more than Theriot.

    • Zonk

      Exactly……this is why you push players like Rizzo back. While the Cubs were getting criticized for this, NOT doing that back in 2010, a 75-win season, will cost the club about $10 mil. Wouldn’t you rather have that for another FA bullpen arm or something?
      All it did was add 2-3 wins to 2010. And move us back 2 positions in last year’s draft.

      • cubtex

        that’s right. don’t ever try to be competitive. If you are going to lose…..lose big.

      • paulcatanese

        At the time Zonk, no-one really knew how the ballclub would fare for the year. After waching Theriot at SS I definately thought it was a good move to bring Castro up.
        The primary goal for the big team is to win games,
        and influence fanswho pay the freight.

        • cubtex

          Of course it was the right move. Your focus it to try and win. It doesn’t happen too often with the… but it was the right move.

  • Neil

    Update – Bruce Levine spoke with Starlin Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, Thursday. Kinzer confirmed Kaplan’s report with Levine that he and the Cubs have been working on a contract extension for Castro “for a period of time.” Kinzer told Levine, “Starlin would like to be a Chicago Cub for many years to come.”

  • Neil
  • RickinMSP

    How is this possible when I keep reading about how Sveum is intentionally trying to ruin Castro and how they intend to trade him in the off-season?
    I hope they do lock him up for then next six years. I’m not a fan of long term contracts for 30-somethings, I am in favor of locking up young stars in this situation. It can be cheaper than arbitration, avoids the contention that arbitration can cause, and give the player some piece of mind.

    • John_CC

      I know it’s hard to believe, but all blog posting in the world doesn’t make the posts any more true.

      • Theboardrider

        Well said…

      • Zonk

        Indeed…..I get tired of posts that say “he isn’t Theo’s boy” or whatever, like it’s personal. It’s never personal.

        They may not like Castro because he should draw more walks, but that’s business (and he should).

      • RickinMSP

        So you’re syaing that just because it’s on the internet it doesn’t mean it’s true?
        Just to be clear, in case I wasn’t, I don’t believe Sveum is trying to ruin Castro, I was giving a little poke to those who have written that many, mnay time throughout the season.

        • John_CC


    • Zonk

      PS: Sveum is hard on Castro, but Sveum is absolutely 100% right when he is. It doesn’t mean he hates him; he’s trying to make him a better player.

      You can’t let some of those lapses slide, and Sveum didn’t, to his credit. He addressed it quickly, and firmly. Castro was appropriately contrite each time, and probably wants to do better.

      It’s not personal

      • John_CC


  • Zonk

    I have been critical of Castro, and he isn’t perfect, but we should lock him up.

    One thing about Castro, I am impressed with his defensive progress this year. I think he has answered the doubters about whether he would stay at SS. This overshadows any regression this year in batting average (and his BABIP is kind of low, so part of that is luck). I also like to see Castro with a little more Pop.

    Castro is a cornerstone, and we need to lock him up.

    If the Cubs are smart, they will “Front Load” the contract, by that meaning have the salary pretty even throughout. We have the money now, and may need flexibility later. Like a $10 mil x 7 contract, something like that.

  • cubtex

    That would be the smartest move team Theo could make. Castro is special and they should build the team around he and Rizzo.

  • cubtex

    I love these Monday Morning Quarterbacks who want to blame the Cubs front office in 2010 for trying to win and put a competitive team on the field. Lets look at facts. The Cubs brought up Starlin Castro on May 7th of 2010. The Cubs were 14-16 at the time. 5 games out of 1st place. We had Ryan “Freakin” Theriot as our SS. Starlin Castro was hitting .376 in AA at the time of his callup.
    For people who do not want to win….you leave Castro in AA. For a team who has only played 30 games and you have a huge upgrade to the team waiting in the minors……YOU BRING HIM UP! You try and win every year. I would rather have a team bring up a player for the good of the ballclub than lose games for the sake of saving a few bucks!

  • unclesmitty

    Well said!

  • RickinMSP

    I’m with you. The Castro and Rizzo situations are very different. The Cubs expected to compete in 2010, thus improve your team where and when you can, and no doubt Castro is and was an upgrade over Theriot. As for Rizzo, why start his clock in a lost season when you can wait a couple of weeks whitout having any real negative impact on the season.

  • paulcatanese

    Absolutly Cubtex, I will never understand the poicy of “looking for control” you bring a player up, regardless, to win, and that is primary, period. Who wants to watch a team that does not want to win?

  • cubtex

    Agreed! They were 30 games into 2010! 14-16. 5 games out of 1st. Yea…lets throw in the towel because we are going to lose and not bring up a better player.