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.”

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