Friday, March 2, 2012

Extension Invention: Starlin Castro

Nearly eleven months, Mike Axisa previewed a possible extension for Starlin Castro (and this was before Castro's 207-hit 2011 campaign). He rightly compared the shortstop to three others: Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, and Troy Tulowitzki. Each signed lucrative (but still team-friendly) deals before their arbitration years. Castro will still be 26 when his final year under team control ends, meaning that if he builds on his current performances, he should find a nine-figure deal of up to possibly ten years' length on the open market. He and his agent may be already salivating as they imagine the future payday. Until then, his current club, the Cubs, most certainly hope to lock him up to a deal that pays him fairly but also gives them some savings from his arbitration years, which are sure to get expensive. Below I have proposed an extension. For 2012, Castro would receive the same salary ($1m) that Tulowitzki received for his last pre-arbitration year. In his first of four arbitration years, he would receive $4m, the mean of his three comparables' salaries in their first arbitration years. This process (of finding the mean) is used for Castro's 2014, 2015, and 2016 salaries as well. In return for giving the Cubs this contractual control, 2017 would become a mutual option for Castro, meaning he could decide whether to enter free agency that year by declining it, or receive a salary of $14.25m by accepting it. This deal makes sense for both sides, even in its shortest form as a five-year, $30 million-dollar commitment.

Starlin Castro
Amount ($ in millions)
2012 (Pre-Arb)
2013 (Super 2)
2014 (Arb 2)
2015 (Arb 3)
2016 (Arb 4)
2017 (FA 1) m. opt.
14.25 (ex.) or .75 (decl.)
6 yrs for $43.5m (ex.) — $7.25m AAV
5 yrs for $30m (decl.) — $6m AAV

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