Reports: Cubs, SS Starlin Castro working on long-term extension

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David Kaplan of was the first to report that the Chicago Cubs are working on a lengthy extension for 22-year-old shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro's agent, Paul Kinzer, confirmed to Kaplan that the two sides are in discussions but declined to provide specifics.

"Yes, we have been talking," Kinzer said. "Starlin loves being a Chicago Cub and would like to play there his entire career. I'd prefer to negotiate privately with the Cubs, but, yes, we have been talking about a long-term deal."

Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of that the deal is expected to cover either six or seven years, which would buy out four years of arbitration and Castro's first two or three years of free agency. The deal could be announced early next week.

For perspective, Cubs president Theo Epstein, then with the Boston Red Sox, gave another middle infielder, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, a six-year, $40.5 million extension after Pedroia's second season, 2008. That deal covered Pedroia's final pre-arbitration season, his three years of arbitration plus two years of free agency.

Could Castro's deal be for similar money? Pedroia won the AL MVP in '08, but Castro plays a premium position and the market obviously has gone up in four years.