Earlier tonight, CSN teased that Dave Kaplan would be breaking big Cubs news within the hour. Naturally, I assumed we were all about to be swiftly kicked in the groin.

Thankfully, that isn’t the case. The news is actually great news, depending on your perspective. From Kaplan:

[T]wo industry sources who have represented several MLB players over the past decade confirmed to me tonight that the Cubs are working on a long term deal for star shortstop Starlin Castro.

The deal, which could be six or more years in length, is expected to be finalized before the end of the 2012 season and would not only buy out the remaining arbitration years that Castro has, but at least two years of free agency which he will reach after the 2016 season.



We discussed the possibility of a long-term extension with Castro back in May (when his agent said Castro wasn’t interested in discussing an extension during the season – go figure). The thinking then, as it is now, is that these kind of pre-arbitration extensions represent one of the rare opportunities for both sides to truly win. The young player, who hasn’t yet made a whole lot of money, cashes in on a huge chunk of guaranteed cash. The team, who prefers not to risk going year-to-year on a potential star, locks up a young talent for years at a potentially discounted rate.

This is likely to be an ongoing story for some time, and it will be interesting to see how Castro’s extension is structured. The BN link above discusses some comparables, and I’d think the Cubs would love to get some team options built in at the end of Castro’s deal. Here are those comps from May, for those disinclined to click:

Comparable players (as close as we have anyway) have recently signed these kinds of deals, including Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus ($14.4 million over three arbitration years), Cameron Maybin (five years and $25 million, including a pre-arb year, three arbitration years, and one free agent year, plus an $8 million option year thereafter), Andrew McCutchen (six years, $51.7 million, including a pre-arb year, three arbitration years, two free agent years, plus a $14.75 million option year thereafter), and Justin Upton (six years, $50 million, including a pre-arb year, three arbitration years, and two free agent years).



For now, are you pleased that the Cubs look to be going this route with Castro? Would you have preferred that they shop him this Winter?




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