Cubs sign Starlin Castro to 7-year, $60 million deal
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Twitter: @GDubCub August 28, 2012 2:12PM
The Cubs have decided to make Starlin Castro the cornerstone of their young team by signing the 22-year-old shortstop to a 7-year, $60 million deal on Tuesday. | Matt York~AP
Updated: August 28, 2012 3:42PM
The Cubs and shortstop Starlin Castro finalized the language in the seven-year, $60 million contract extension that had been agreed to in principal almost two weeks ago.
According to various reports and sources, the deal calls for a $6 million signing bonus and a $1 million buyout on the eighth-year, $16 million club option for 2020; and it does not include a no-trade clause.
Castro, already a two-time All-Star and 2011 Naional League hits leader, doesn’t turn 30 until the final week of March just ahead of the option season.
Castro, who makes $567,000 in this final season before he would have been eligible for salary arbitration, reportedly makes $5 million each of the first two years of the contract, then $6 million, $7 million, $9 million, $10 million and $11 million. Performance clauses can escalate salary levels on the back end.
In 2011, Castro became the youngest player and the first 21-year-old in history to lead the National League in hits (207) and was only the 10th player in 111 years of the modern era (since 1900) to reach 200 hits in a season at the age of 21 or younger.
Originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on October 25, 2006, Castro reached Double-A Tennessee by the age of 19 in 2009 and earned his promotion straight from Double-A to the big leagues less than a year later.