The Chicago Cubs’ efforts to sign Starlin Castro to an extension have been going on for a little while now behind the scenes, and, by all indications, the deal could be wrapping up soon. Those “indications” come primarily from the fact that everyone from Starlin to his agent to Theo Epstein are speaking openly about the progress on the extension. That simply doesn’t happen unless all sides are confident that a deal will get done.

The latest bits …

  • Ken Rosenthal cites sources who tell him the extension will be for six or seven years, and will include at least one team option, which then could conceivably give the Cubs control over Castro four four years beyond his arbitration years. That would take him all the way until his age 30 season. You’re not going to see Castro agreeing to a deal any longer than that, though, as he’s going to want to at least have the opportunity for one big free agent score while still near his prime. I doubt the Cubs would want to go much longer than that anyway.
  • Rosenthal says a deal could happen “early next week or sooner.”
  • Epstein confirmed that the two sides are talking about an extension, though he quipped that he was confirming it publicly only because Castro’s agent had already done so.
  • Castro says he wants to be with the Cubs for a long time, and hopes the extension gets done. But he’s not taking an active role in things until a deal is close. “I’m letting my agent work,” Castro said. “I tell him, ‘You tell me when you’re close. When you’re close and ready to do it, you tell me.’ But right now, I give more concentration to the game.”
  • Theo loving on Starlin: “It’s the easiest thing in the world to look at a young player like this at the big leagues and point out what he can’t do, or what he doesn’t yet do consistently. But I think it’s important to acknowledge those things and identify them as areas for continued growth and development. But you have to step back and look at what the player can do. He’s an extraordinarily athletic shortstop, he’s proven he has the range, he has the arm and then some. He has the hands when he has the proper footwork to go with it. Sure he’s made a few careless errors through the course of the season and lately as all good shortstops do, but he’s shown he can make every play that we need to make and he’s shown that as we have demanded it of him he can show greater growth through his consistency. Offensively, the sky’s the limit.”
  • Starlin loving on the Cubs (and, kind of, himself): “They’re trying to do a young team [with] me and [Anthony] Rizzo. Hopefully, he’s a star. When the team is going to be good it can be me and him [here] for a long time …. That is very important for me, winning games, helping my teammates [and] a lot of people here want [that, too]. I want to be the face of the franchise – me and Rizzo.”
  • Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, says the impetus for an extension now came from the Cubs’ side, not Castro’s. Castro and Kinzer were content to wait to discuss things after the season, but the Cubs made the effort to get things going now.
  • The money quote from Starlin: ‘‘I want to be here. I don’t care if I leave money [on the table]. But I don’t want to go year to year.’’ That is the essence of the win-win situation presented by these types of extensions.
  • The money quote from Theo: “If you’re going to commit long-term to a player, you want to make sure you have very few reservations about the talent, about the character. You want to make sure it’s for the right years and the right ages. You want to try to wrap up as many prime-age years as you can. You want to maybe let someone else pay for the decline.”
  • koyiehillsucks

    “That is very important for me, winning games, helping my teammates [and] a lot of people here want [that, too]. I want to be the face of the franchise – me and Rizzo.”

    We can only hope things turn out that way!!!

  • walterj

    Love what I am reading .

  • http://bleachernation.com ramy16

    Absolutely! Get it done Theo

  • BluBlud

    ‘‘I want to be here. I don’t care if I leave money [on the table]. But I don’t want to go year to year.’’ That is the essence of the win-win situation presented by these types of extensions.

    An athlete saying he doesn’t care if he leaves money on the table. That’s like Obama saying he’s going to vote for Romney. What a refreshing quote by Castro.

    • Drew7

      Except that’s essentially what he’s doing by signing that long of an extension.

  • mikaylaaa

    ESPN says deal is done. 7 years 60 mil

    • Flashfire

      If that’s accurate, I *really* hope the $16 million option is a team option. Otherwise, nothing to dislike about the deal as reported. Guess we have our shortstop for the next decade.

      • Carew

        He probably was gonna be it anyways

      • Gabriel

        All prelim reports were that there might be 1 or 2 TEAM option years, so at the very worst-case scenario that $16MM will be a mutual option. I’m almost certain its team, which is fantastic.

        This deal really is amazing. Castro is already worth more like $12MM/yr and this locks in all/most of his prime years at under $10MM/yr, which is crazy potential value. Hopefully he keeps growing (I am supremely confident he will) and this deal will look like a steal from the Cubs’ perspective in 2020.

        • Flashfire

          Essentially , he takes less than he’s worth to get a guaranteed $60 million, which ain’t bad. Then, at 30, he signs with the Angels for $250 million over 10 years and provides lesser value as he declines. So, only the Angels lose here.

  • Tommy

    I’m sure this is old news to most everyone by now, but ESPNChicago reports Castro has signed or is signing for $60M over 7 years.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      That is a steal of a deal. It’s really hard to not be impressed by Thoyer so far.

      • Flashfire

        The real difference between Hendry and Epstein so far is encapsulated in this contract vs. the Zambrano contract. There are about 29 teams around the big leagues who would be willing to empty their minor league systems to take this contract off our hands. The second the Zambrano deal was signed the Cubs were the only team in baseball who wanted it.

        • Featherstone

          I completely agree Flash. A player’s value is not only determined by his play, but also by his contract which is why Longoria of the Rays was worth so much before his recent rash of injuries

  • Tommy

    NM, dollar short and day late. I didn’t read the posts before me. My bad.

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