The Chicago Cubs took a step towards suring up their long-term future on Saturday. It was first reported by David Kaplan of Comcast Sportsnet Chicago a couple days ago that the Cubs and Castro were working on a long-term deal, Kaplan’s report was then confirmed by Castro, and Cubs’ President Theo Epstein as the two sides indicated that a long-term deal is the common goal.
Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes Los Angeles reports that the Cubs and Castro have indeed agreed to a long-term deal. According to Rojas, the contract that Castro has agreed to with the Cubs is for seven years, and is worth $60 million. The contract also includes a $16 million option for the 2020 season. Meaning that Castro has the potential to earn $76 million over the course of the next seven years.
This figures to be win-win for both the Cubs and Castro. For the Cubs, the contract runs through the four seasons that Castro would be eligible for arbitration in addition to the first three years of free agency. The contract also takes Castro through his prime as the shortstop will be 29 years old at the conclusion of the contract. Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer have talked in the past about paying for the players through their prime seasons, which they believe is when the player is 27 through 29 years of age. That is what the front office has now done with Castro and at a price that should be considered team-friendly.
Castro has struggled to some degree with the Cubs this season as the shortstop is hitting .276/.307/.727 to go along with 12 home runs. Those struggles, in addition to a few mental lapses on the field, has led to speculation that Castro may not be the long-term answer for the Cubs at the shortstop position. That speculation has lead to suggestions that Cubs may look to trade Castro at some point in the near future. Though, the one constant that has been evident throughout Epstein regime, is that Castro is the type of player that Cubs will build their roster around. Epstein has always shown a strong commitment to Castro, and the extension that Castro has received should eliminate any discussions of Castro not being a part of the long-term future with the Cubs.
The Cubs have an off-day on Thursday before they play host to the Colorado Rockies next weekend, that is when I would expect an official announcement to be made.