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Cubs finalize $60 million extension with Starlin Castro

Aug 28, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

Starlin Castro Getty Images

Making official what was first reported two weeks ago, the Cubs have finalized a seven-year, $60 million contract extension with shortstop Starlin Castro that includes a team option for 2020.

Castro is making the minimum salary this season and would have been arbitration eligible for the first time next year. And as a “Super Two” player he would have had four total seasons of arbitration eligibility before reaching free agency.

All of which means the seven-year extension covers all four arbitration seasons and his first three free agent seasons while giving the Cubs a $16 million option or $1 million buyout on his fourth free agent year. Carrie Muskat of has the year-by-year breakdown:

Signing bonus: $6 million
2013: $5 million
2014: $5 million
2015: $6 million
2016: $7 million
2017: $9 million
2018: $10 million
2019: $11 million
2020: $16 million option or $1 million buyout

Compared to his rookie and sophomore campaigns Castro has taken a step backward this season, hitting .276 with a .729 OPS, but he’s already reached a career-high with 12 homers in 127 games and at age 22 there’s still plenty of room for further development.

Castro already has 1,761 career plate appearances with a month to go in his age-22 season. In the history of baseball the only shortstops with more plate appearances through age 22 are Robin Yount, Edgar Renteria, Alex Rodriguez, Elvis Andrus, Arky Vaughan, and Travis Jackson. If he turns out to be as good as the worst player on that list the Cubs will have gotten a bargain in Castro’s extension, which covers the rest of his twenties.

  1. savior72 - Aug 28, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Too many years. 5 tops on this guy

  2. nudeman - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    A huge talent who’s show that he has almost no baseball acumen and can’t seem to pay attention for more than 45 seconds at a stretch

    Will be considered a mistake in a long line of them

    • El Bravo - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      Would you pay attention to the awfulness the Cubs put on the field every day with 100% vigilance? Give the dude a break, brah.

  3. hokiegajanisgod - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    As a life long Red Sox fan, I’ll be forever grateful for what Theo Epstein did in bring Boston titles in ’04 and ’07. No hate from me

    However, this is exactly the kind of contract that got Boston in so much financial trouble (until the Dodgers bailed us out. Thank you LA!)

    Unfortunately, Theo had many of these kinds of contracts. Good luck Chicago.

    • El Bravo - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:22 PM

      No it isn’t. Name one similar signing that Theo pulled for the Red Sox. AGon, Crawford and Beckett already had years under their belts. So who? This is locking in young talent that they see years of value in, that isn’t dumb at all. The dude does have a high value, so what’s the issue with locking him in now as opposed to paying more to do the same later?

      • hokiegajanisgod - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Didn’t say it was dumb, just too many years and too backloaded.

        Dustin Pedroia had already won the ROY and MVP awards and signed for less years and money (a good Theo contract).

        No one can seriously argue that Castro deserves more $$$ or is a better player than Pedroia at this point of his career.

        Hope it works out for the Cubs; don’t be surprised if it doesn’t

      • okobojicat - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

        Dustin Pedroia…err, wait, that is a comparable signing and has turned out really well for the Red Sox. And Pedroia won the rookie of the year when he was 23. You know, how old Castro will be NEXT YEAR.

        He’s 22 years old. He’s young. He’s made a lot of mistakes that if they happened at AAA we would never hear about them and we’d all be very exciting for this super prospect.

      • Alex K - Aug 28, 2012 at 9:22 PM

        okobojicat nailed it. He’s 22 and locked up through his 20’s. This is exactly the time you lock a player up. It’s the best way to get extra value from them.

        hokiegajanisgod – This contract is longer than Pedroia’s. Also, it’s 3 years later and so you would expect the contract to be for more even if it was the same amount of years (if you take away the 2019 season the contract is for an enormous 1.5 million more than Pedroia’s).

  4. kevinbnyc - Aug 28, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    At least he has his stellar defense to fall back on

  5. leroysbutler - Aug 28, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Rugh Roh

  6. mrbiz8505 - Aug 28, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    He loses 5 mill everytime he forgets how many outs there are… So he’ll be broke in 5 years….

  7. mlb4life - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    Castro is already a premier hitter, this deal is good for the Cubs. He’ll work on his defense and become the backbone of the team. I’m a Reds fan and i gotta say that a lineup with DeJesus, Castro, Rizzo, Soriano, LaHair, etc. isn’t to shabby.

  8. jko54 - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    theoretically mlb4life…theoretically…but somehow, after following the Cubs for the last 48 years, somehow they’ll still hose it up…but thankfully theory keeps dreams alive until somebody invites that damn goat back.

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