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CHICAGO (CBS) – Despite reports of a 7-year, $60 million contract for shortstop Starlin Castro, Cubs President Theo Epstein says there’s no long-term deal completed with the team’s young star yet.
In an interview with Barry Rozner and Matt Spiegel on “Hit and Run” on Sunday, Epstein confirmed the Cubs are working on a long-term contract for Castro, but he said “nothing’s finalized yet.”
“There’s a process. You’ve got to get to a final agreement on terms, and you’ve got to work on language, and there’s usually a physical, so … there’s reason for optimism,” Epstein said. “Unfortunately, it kind of leaked out a little bit early in the media, but I don’ think that should get in the way of us working hard to finish it up.”
Asked why the Cubs want to get a long-term deal done now, when Castro has been struggling offensively, and has four years of salary arbitration left before he becomes a free agent, Epstein said he’s confident Castro will work out his problems at the plate, and said it’s better to get a long-term deal done now, than later, when the price would likely go up if Castro becomes a consistently elite hitter.
Epstein said it’s always appealing for a team to “buy low” on a player.
“If he’s performing at an elite level, it’s a lot harder to get a deal done on terms that the club is comfortable with.” “I think we feel like Starlin did make vast improvements this year, but it was on the defensive side, and his offensive potential still hasn’t been reached yet.”
LISTEN: Theo Epstein on Hit and Run