After spending much of the season discussing who they’re going to get rid of, it’s nice to see the Chicago Cubs begin to focus more on the guys that will actually be here when this team is ready to contend.
That began with the new contract extension for rising star Starlin Castro, who is reportedly set to agree to a new seven-year deal with the Cubs. The deal is for $60 million for those seven years, and carries an option for an eighth year. When it’s all said and done, the deal could be worth up to $76 million.
The deal has yet to be finalized, but assuming it goes through as reported, it will buy out Castro’s arbitration years and keep him on the North Side potentially until the year 2020.
Castro has been in something of a slump for some of the summer, but he’s still hitting .278 on the season and is on pace to set new career highs in home runs, RBIs, and steals.
The only real question for Castro to this point in his career has been his defense, which has improved a great deal this year, though he’s still prone to the mistakes out there with his glove at shortstop. A position change could be in the cards for him at some point in the future, though that’s not a certainty.
His patience at the plate is something that will also have to improve, but, like his defense, has also come a long way this season. He’s seeing more pitches per plate appearance now than he was earlier in the season, drawing more walks and striking out less. And he should see a bit of an increase in his power numbers down the road.
Ultimately, this is a great deal for the Cubs, assuming it becomes official soon. The price is right for a talent like Castro, who should be among the game’s elite shortstops for quite some time, if he keeps progressing. And now Cub fans can know he’ll be spending that time in the friendly confines.