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28 teams attended workout for Cuban defector Rusney Castillo

Jul 26, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

We learned last weekend that the Cubs, White Sox, Braves, and Giants were among the clubs interested in Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. However, it looks like they are going to have plenty of competition in order to sign him.

Castillo defected from Cuba earlier this year and is known for his plus-speed. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds, the 27-year-old hits from the right side of the plate. Per Jesse Sanchez of, scouts have compared him to the likes of Jacoby Ellsbury, Kenny Lofton, and Brett Gardner. He was expected to work out at both center field and shortstop today.

Here’s video of Castillo preparing for today’s showcase. It’s mostly boring stuff, but you’ll see that he’s capable of pushing an SUV:

Castillo is represented by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports. Because he played five years in Cuba’s top professional league, he will not be subject to MLB’s international spending limit. There’s some thought that he could surface in the majors by the end of this season depending on where he winds up.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 26, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Do not keep us in suspense Which 2 teams were not there?

    • elwaysagenius - Jul 26, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      Too young for RAJ so not the Phillies, and would cost too much for Loria.

    • gloccamorra - Jul 26, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      They’re not gonna tell us. The two teams would get upset and ban the tattletale from the press box food table.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jul 26, 2014 at 10:19 PM

      That’s a follow-up to Craig’s team trolling piece of earlier in the week.

  2. chill1184 - Jul 26, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    The SUV thing intrigues me

    • bigharold - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      I am not impressed.

      Back in the late 80s I had a car that had a recurring ignition issue. Almost like clock work every 40K miles the ignition coil would burn out without warning. My wife picked me up at my job after working an over night so I could drop her off at her job and watch the kids during the day. She shut the car off waiting for me to come out of the job and it naturally wouldn’t start. So there I am stuck, my wife is going to miss work and I’ve no way to get home. I got pissed off and pushed my car home, .. 3.5 miles. No hills but had to struggle over a few LIE overpasses. Best leg work out I EVER had.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        You are a big man Harold.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:04 AM

        3 and a half miles?

        kudos to you big guy.

  3. stan97 - Jul 26, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    These guys should have to enter the mlb draft.

    Just another loophole where the rich teams can get richer.

    • gloccamorra - Jul 26, 2014 at 5:41 PM

      But that would require agreement between Major League Baseball and a pinko commie prevert regime in Cuba that we don’t recognize as a real government. We have to smuggle in their baseball players like we smuggle in their cigars. (wink. wink.)

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Just another loophole where the rich teams can get richer.

      Last few big name international free agents:

      Cespedes: A’s
      Puig: Dodgers
      Abreu: White Sox
      Tanaka: Yanks
      Darvish: Rangers
      Chapman: Reds

      Seems like a wide spread of teams there, and the two big time spending teams probably got hte worst of it [Puig wasn’t projected to be like this, because he dropped about 25+lbs per Keith Law, and Tanaka might be done for a year + with TJ Surgery]

  4. bigguy54 - Jul 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Jay Z will tell him to go to Seattle and play with Cano. He will be an immediate starter.

    • roundballsquarebox24 - Jul 26, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      This might have been a sarcastic comment, but if this guy really compares to Jacoby Ellsbury and Kenny Lofton then he would be a really good addition to the Mariners and could definitely help King Felix and Robbie Cano make something happen up in Seattle.

      • slappymcknucklepunch - Jul 27, 2014 at 12:02 AM

        Is that the ellsbury who is often injured or the Gardner who has little power?I realise they are good defenders,but if you are not a team built for speed like the sox and yanks are most certainly not,then those players never seem to do as well.

        I think the sox did well for not paying Ellesbury. I thought he should of went to a NL club for slightly less(if millions is slightly less)and shorter years like SD or SF or even the mets as he can cover a LOT of ground and with a light hitting team becomes much more valuable.

        Then again I work 2 jobs just to make ends meet,but I digress.

        Ellsbury 1 – Slappy 0

  5. bigguy54 - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    My comment was not sarcastic, anything to get Ackley and his weak arm out of the OF. With the way he is hitting, his trade value is about as high as it will get. He would be perfect for a team who needs someone at 2nd.

  6. username5891 - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Cuban players are taking over. I wish the Marlins would try to bring some to Miami it could be exciting but I guess we’ll have to wait for a new owner.

  7. renaado - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Is there still a reason for em to defect? From what I heard from other news outlets specially from the Cuban league… players can now play for other leagues without the reason to defect, the NPB are now already headfirst in this… signing prolific Cuban Baseball players like. Frederich Cepeda now with the Yomiuri, Yulieski Gourriel of the Baystars and newly signed Alfredo Despaigne now with Chiba Lotte.

    • roundballsquarebox24 - Jul 26, 2014 at 7:45 PM

      Wow, I didn’t know that Alfredo Despaigne had signed in Japan. I’ve seen some video of this guy’s swing, and I really hoped to see him in MLB soon.

      • renaado - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:08 PM

        Yeah, it was just 3 days ago when Despaigne signed with Lotte… However a 5 game tune up in their Minors is still needed for him, just so he could get a little acquainted on how Baseball is bein played in Japan.

    • brazcubas - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      If they want to play in MLB, they still have to defect. The players are effectively “on loan” from the Cuban league during its off-season, and any foreign earnings they make would be taxed by the Cuban government. Because of the US embargo, MLB teams are unable to negotiate for a transfer, and the players would not be allowed to send money to Cuba, thus makeing their playing in the US a non-starter.

      Plus, there’s always getting out from under Castro’s thumb, depending on how well they get along with the regime, that might be reason enough to defect, even if they never make it to MLB.

  8. chargrz - Jul 26, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    I am sure the Padres were not one the 28 teams to attend.

  9. mungman69 - Jul 27, 2014 at 7:42 AM


  10. onbucky96 - Jul 27, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    Cubs. Because Theo needs another SS…

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