Yesterday, the Chicago Cubs and Starlin Castro formally executed the shortstop’s seven-year, $60 million extension, which comes with a team option for an eighth year. General Manager Jed Hoyer and Castro did the press conference thing to introduce the deal, and offered some thoughtful commentary on the extension.

Jed Hoyer

  • On the deal, generally: “The way it was looking, Starlin would be a free agent far too early. He’s a big part of our future and we had four years of control of him after this year. By doing this deal we now have eight …. He’s one of the players we’re building around and we’re excited to have him as a Cub for a long time and he’s a big part of our future. We’re building a young core and Starlin’s right in the middle of that. We’re really excited about it. This is about him. It’s certainly not about me. But this is a very good day for the Cubs.”
  • On knowing when it was OK to pull the trigger on a big extension: “The work [Castro] put in on his defense with the new coaching staff was a big part of what made us feel comfortable extending him for as long as we did. He did have to put work in and make adjustments, and he did that.”
  • On retaining young talent like Castro: “Probably the hardest two things to find are top-of-the-rotation starters and shortstops. We made it clear to Starlin that we wanted him to be the first one. We will certainly entertain [other extensions] on a case-by-case basis. Certainly we won’t just start signing players without feeling they are proven to us and are a significant part of our future. We’re in the position financially, thanks to the Ricketts family, thanks to the way we’ve gone about our business, we’re in the position to retain our players.”
  • On Castro’s ability to stick at shortstop long-term, and the relationship to the extension: “Shortstop’s a really hard position to fill in today’s game especially someone that can provide with offense. [Castro] proved it to us early on. He worked very hard on his defense. There’s no question in my mind that he can play shortstop in the big leagues on a championship team.”
  • On Castro’s obligation to become a leader: “He owes it to the organization that once those young players come up here and he gets established and has a routine that he’s comfortable with, he needs to share that with other players. I know he wants to do that.”

Starlin Castro

  • On the money part of the extension: “It’s big especially for my family. We come from very poor people, and now my family is going to be better. Their lives [are] changing, and that’s really neat.”
  • On staying with the Cubs long-term: “It’s good for me. I feel really really happy because it was the organization that signed me when I was a little kid and I don’t want to go nowhere. That’s why I say thank you for Jed and everbody for wanting me to be here for a long time. I feel really happy.”
  • On whether the deal could make him complacent: “This is not going to stop me from working hard on the field. Just be here for a long time, be here working hard and don’t stop being humble like I am and stay like that for all my career.”
  • On becoming a leader: “I think I’m ready. I think I’m ready to take on this responsibility here with this team and help the other guys who are coming up like [Alfonso Soriano] helped me. I think I’m ready for that in the field and off the field.”
  • On his next goal: “[A World Series is] what I’m looking for. It’s the only important thing right now, to win a World Series and for it to be here.”
  • abe

    now that his family can eat time to focus on being a star.

  • Scotti

    He’s a talented player who has had success and who has put the work in. Coming up he was considered a leader on the field so this looks like a good deal.

  • ssckelley

    This was a great move for the Cubs to be able to retain his rights until the age of 30 while not having to give him any no trade clauses. The Cubs signed him at a manageable salary that any team can take on if another prospect comes along that may be better and the Cubs could improve multiple positions in a trade.

  • BD

    I’m mostly excited that we have found a player to keep! Trade/DFA = 25? Keep = 1

    Now we’re getting somewhere. :)

  • Chef

    I especially like that with the contract being done this year, is that he can “afford” to have the post contract crappy season next year and get it out of the way before our so called championship run begins in earnest.

  • Flashfire

    Joe Mauer is on waivers and the Dodgers need a catcher. Can anyone else see this happening?

    • hansman1982

      no…unless the Twins got one hell of an offer they would never trade Mauer.

      • Flashfire

        That deal is a nightmare for them though. They have to be regretting it. $23 mil a season for the next 6 seasons. How can you possibly put together a winning team with a payroll under $100 mil when one guy takes up almost a quarter of it?

        • JR

          Yeah, that Mauer contract is real bad. It doesn’t look like he will be to be an every day catcher in the future. And he doesn’t have enough power to pay that much to at first base. If they were smart and someone claimed him, they would just let him go for payroll relief.

        • Hebner The Gravedigger

          They talked a lot about trading Mauer on the radio this morning in MSP. They said that Mauer has a no-trade clause, but they thought he might go to a winner. The Twins really need to reallocate some of the salary they took (I.E. Mauer / Morneau) on. The radio guys were saying that Boston may now be a fit as Mauer has to play 1B/OF/DH too. They also went into what it would be like to trade Mauer and then have him come back as an all-star when the Twins host the game in a couple of years…

    • Joker

      Never say never anymore…

    • AB

      What?? Aj Ellis is batting 281/384/424. Think the dodgers are ok at catcher

      • Flashfire

        You’re right. In a sane world, that’s great. In the Dodgers new world, where they seem to want a big name an All-Star at every position and f the price tag, he’s a guy no one in LA had heard of before this season. Whereas Joe Mauer is one of the best catchers of his generation… blah blah blah

  • Curt

    I hope this works out its a good deal for Castro and a so-so deal fr the cubs if he doesent get any better a great deal if he improves but exactly wht has he proven though,tht warranted this deal other than being a decent hitting ss and being close to his arbitration years, but like I said if he gets better super deal if not just ok, gtta start somewhere, think they overpaid for him, well see if they were right in the next few yrs.

  • MichCubFan

    Great deal. I like the part about expecting him to be a leader. The added responsibility is good for him. No better way to keep him focused and to continue to work hard to improve than for him to know the younger guys are watching him and that the FO is watching him.

  • Spoda17

    I wonder if refraining from eating sunflower seeds while playing defense is in the contract… that would have been my first recommendation…

    • Alec

      Kid eats sunflower seeds like they’re his last meal…especially when he’s saving those shells for later on his lower lip

  • clark addison

    Better sunflower seeds than tobacco. Ask Tony Gwynn.