The Chicago Cubs have officially announced a seven-year, $60 million contract extension for 22-year old shortstop Starlin Castro. The contract includes an option for an eighth year.
The contract does not include a no-trade clause, meaning at one point the Cubs could choose to trade Castro for a dominant pitcher. They would then use top prospect Javier Baez as their long-term answer at shortstop.
I can’t find an exact answer, but I would be willing to bet that Castro is the youngest player to ever sign a seven-year contract. Usually players sign their extensions in the mid-twenties. Then again, Castro was in the major leagues as a full-time starter by 2010, when he was 20 years old.
This season, Castro has been one of the lone bright spots for a Cubs team that will suffer its third straight losing season.
He is batting .276 with 12 home runs and 63 RBIs. The home runs are a career-high, and he’s four RBIs away from another career high. He also has 21 stolen bases. Castro was selected to the All-Star Game for the second straight season.
In 2011, Castro led the National League in at bats (674) and hits (207), while slugging 10 home runs, driving in 66 runs, and batting .307. He finished 23rd in the National League Most Valuable Player voting.
One area of concern for Castro is his fielding. He is leading NL shortstops in errors for the second straight season, although he does rank first in the league in range factor.
As players like Derek Jeter and Jimmy Rollins near the last few years of their career, look for a player like Castro to emerge as the face of the shortstop position in Major League Baseball.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.