8/17 Money matters: free agency & Castro
Don’t expect the Cubs to be offering mega deals to free agents this offseason. The goal is to build from within. During an appearance Thursday night on “Chicago Tribune Live,” GM Jed Hoyer explained their approach.
“One of the problems with free agency is that there is an illusion in some ways that you’re acquiring this great talent,” Hoyer said. “Most of the time, players hit free agency when they’re on the back half of their career. Players peak [at] 26, 27, 28 [years of age]. Free agents [are usually] in their 30s. So, you’re spending a lot of money sometimes for declining performance. It doesn’t mean you don’t do it. It doesn’t mean you don’t seek the right guys out.
“(But) we have to build from within and build young players, because the days of going out and signing young free agents is over,” Hoyer said. “Teams lock up their guys. Look at how many long, multiyear deals teams are signing with their pre-arbitration players. You know that you’re going to delve into free agency, but if you have an offseason plan, or a plan of the future dependent upon those names, I think you’re doing things the wrong way.”
Expect to see more deals like the one they gave David DeJesus. The outfielder signed a two-year contract with a club option for 2014. He will get $4.25 million in each of the first two seasons, and the club option is for $6.5 million, and contains a $1.5 million buyout.
The Cubs also are reportedly working on locking up their young players. Starlin Castro’s agent Paul Kinzer told CSNChicago.com that he has been talking to the Cubs about a long-term deal for the shortstop. The contract could be finalized before the end of the season, and would buy out Castro’s remaining arbitration years plus two years of free agency.
– Carrie Muskat