According to a report by ESPNDeportes Saturday, the Cubs and shortstop Starlin Castro have agreed to a seven-year, $60 million contract extension that would buy out three years of free agency.
Neither side denied the details of the report other than both sides saying a deal had not been completed.
Castro said after the Cubs’ dropped a 5-3 opener of a doubleheader against Cincinnati on Saturday that he hadn’t heard from his agent about the deal and knew only what he had seen on TV in the clubhouse.
“If the numbers I saw on TV are right, I’ll take it,” said Castro, who added that he hasn’t been told even to be ready to take a physical, a standard formality before a long-term agreement such as this is signed.
But one source said a deal appeared close and only final details remained to be worked out. And multiple sources confirmed the parameters reported by ESPNDeportes, including a $16 million club option for 2020.
“Nothing’s finalized on Starlin,” team president Theo Epstein said. “Other than that, I have no comment.”
Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, said the report was premature and talks were “ongoing” but declined to elaborate on how close to an agreement the sides were.
Castro, a two-time All-Star who led the National League in hits last year, doesn’t turn 30 until a few days before the start of what would be that 2020 option season of the deal.
“It’s something we’d like to get done,” Epstein said Friday, addressing the ongoing talks. “I think it’d be a good thing for Starlin and for the ballclub. We’ve got an extremely talented 22-year-old who has proven to us he can play shortstop at this level. And we project the bat to get better and better as he matures into his prime.”