Source: Official Castro deal near
CINCINNATI -- Starlin Castro's reported seven-year, $60 million contract extension with the Chicago Cubs might not become official for another week and could take up to two weeks to complete, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Contract language still needs to be drafted, and that is creating the current delay, the source said. Castro took a physical on Monday, according to another source with knowledge of the situation.
ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com's Enrique Rojas initially reported the deal during the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds.
The negotiation process and eventual agreement on a deal haven't seemed to cause a problem for Castro on the field. After a lengthy dry spell that dropped his batting average to .272, Castro has batted .357 with a .984 OPS since Aug. 8.
A recent move to the No. 5 spot in the lineup has helped with his production. Castro has eight RBIs over his past 10 games after recording eight RBIs over his previous 20 games.
That type of production in the wake of all the contract noise has to please the Cubs. Effects of a new contract can be two-fold. Players can sometimes ramp up their work ethic because of the expectations that come with a bigger payday, while some settle into a lull knowing they are now financially secure.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum has been openly critical of some of Castro's on-field lapses in concentration but doesn't seem concerned that a new long-term contract will adversely affect his shortstop as he deals with fame and fortune.
"I think the fame is already there," Sveum said. "You're playing in Chicago and are the front-line guy on the Chicago Cubs. I think he's done well. But obviously when you get that kind of money it's a whole other (reality) to understand that there is a big responsibility that comes with that kind of money and not get carried away.
"You hope he reacts to the point that he obviously will be financially secure for the rest of his life, and now you have one more thing to accomplish, and that is to win a World Series, to get better every single day."
One bonus to veteran outfielder Alfonso Soriano being around is that he can help Castro avoid some of the off-the-field pitfalls that come with so much money.
"I just talked to him to love the game and work hard to get better, because money is good, but it doesn't make you better," Soriano said. "You have to keep working hard and get better every day. Always the money is there if you play hard and play good. I talked to him to keep doing what you're doing, working hard and playing hard.
"Don't worry about the money, because the money will come if you work hard and you're a good player and if you believe in yourself. But you have to put the baseball first and the money second."
ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine contributed to this report.
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