I have written several times about how the Cubs can and should lock up Starlin Castro to a long-term contract before he hits arbitration. In fact, back in April I wrote about how they might accomplish this, patterned after the contract the Giants gave Madison Bumgarner. Now, according to CSN Chicago's David Kaplan, it looks like that's exactly what the Cubs are doing:
... two industry sources who have represented several MLB players over the past decade confirmed to me tonight that the Cubs are working on a long term deal for star shortstop Starlin Castro.
The deal, which could be six or more years in length, is expected to be finalized before the end of the 2012 season and would not only buy out the remaining arbitration years that Castro has, but at least two years of free agency which he will reach after the 2016 season.
This is an outstanding idea, and exactly how smart management teams in baseball are doing things today -- locking up young stars before they even reach free agency. We don't know what the terms are yet, or when this might be announced, but clearly, it will save the Cubs a ton of money over the next few years, presuming Castro continues to develop into a star.
They should do the same with Anthony Rizzo in a year or so.