According to a report by ESPNDeportes Saturday, the Cubs and shortstop Starlin Castro have agreed to a seven-year, $60 million contract extension that would buy out three years of free agency.
Neither side denied the details of the report other than both sides saying a deal had not been completed.
Castro said after the Cubs' dropped a 5-3 opener of a doubleheader against Cincinnati on Saturday that he hadn't heard from his agent about the deal and knew only what he had seen on TV in the clubhouse.
``If the numbers I saw on TV are right, I'll take it,'' said Castro, who added that he hasn't been told even to be ready to take a physical, a standard formality before a long-term agreement such as this is signed.
But one source said a deal appeared close and only final details remained to be worked out. And multiple sources confirmed the parameters reported by ESPNDeportes, including a $16 million club option for 2020.
``Nothing's finalized on Starlin,'' team president Theo Epstein said. ``Other than that, I have no comment.''
Castro's agent, Paul Kinzer, said the report was premature and talks were ``ongoing'' but declined to elaborate on how close to an agreement the sides were.
Castro, a two-time All-Star who led the National League in hits last year, doesn't turn 30 until a few days before the start of what would be that 2020 option season of the deal.
``It's something we'd like to get done,'' Epstein said Friday, addressing the ongoing talks. ``I think it'd be a good thing for Starlin and for the ballclub. We've got an extremely talented 22-year-old who has proven to us he can play shortstop at this level. And we project the bat to get better and better as he matures into his prime.''