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Report: Red Sox and Tigers are front-runners to sign Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo

Aug 21, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

Rusney Castillo Getty Getty Images

We heard earlier this week that Cuban free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo was “moving quickly” toward signing with a team and now Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that the Red Sox and Tigers “appear to be the front-runners.” He’s expected to make a decision no later than the weekend.

Castillo, 27, had a showcase late last month which was attended by representatives from 28 MLB teams. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported this morning that he has since had private workouts with eight teams, including the Red Sox, Tigers, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Giants, Mariners, and Reds.

Known for his plus-speed, Castillo is expected to command a contract north of Yasiel Puig‘s $42 million deal with the Dodgers. It’s believed that he could make his way to the major leagues as soon as this season depending on where he ends up.

  1. norvturnersneck - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    Angels’ Shoemaker perfect through 7.

  2. norvturnersneck - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    Oops, never mind. Broken up in 7th. I spoke too soon.

  3. carefreejt6 - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    sox, done deal

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      Giving up on Bradley already?

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:36 AM

        Since there’s no need to trade Bradley in order to make a free agent signing, no.

        You aren’t familiar with how free agent signings work, eh?

      • dan1111 - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:57 AM

        @Proudly, on the contrary, the Sox appear to think playing multiple center fielders in the outfield is the new inefficiency. Last season they often had an all-center-fielder outfield. In 2011 the top four outfielders in their depth chart were all capable center fielders.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:05 AM

        The Red Sox just traded starting pitchers for 2 outfielders.

      • carefreejt6 - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:40 AM

        no, but i just know they signed him to a huge contract. kid is a stud can play center, left, right, SS (no need cause X), but when there is huge upside/talent, you don’t pass up cause of a prospect who’s still finding his way

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:39 AM

        X better start hitting or he won’t be there long…

        .224 right now this season…

        .226 career batting average…

        maybe one of their 8 center fielders can play shortstop for them…

        even the no hit Mark Belanger batted .228 for his career…

      • dan1111 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        @sportsfan18, Bogaerts is already outhitting Belanger by a significant margin (76 OPS+ compared to 68).

        But, yeah, he needs to hit more (or turn into one of the greatest defensive shortstops ever) if he is going to be a star.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Sawks are the frontrunners according to multiple MLB teams. Calling it a “done deal” is premature.

      I’ll still give you 3-1 on Mystery Team. Those guys get all the good players.

      • carefreejt6 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        done deal and it’ll be more money than puig

    • carefreejt6 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      how do you like them apples?

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        quit stroking yourself in public

  4. Minoring In Baseball - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    I’d like to see him in Detroit. His speed would fit in with their new system, and they do need an outfielder. Hunter isn’t getting younger, and Dirks isn’t the answer.

  5. budzo83 - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    I heard this guy isn’t known for his glove, has an OK bat, and speed to burn. Sounds a lot like Rajai Davis, no? If he’s not an clear upgrade over the Davis/Carrera platoon, I don’t think the Tigers should commit the salary. Especially Puig money for an unproven player. However, Dombrowski is in desperation mode, so he’ll probably be starting by the time the Royals are back in town.

  6. greymares - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    Everybody’s farm system has a guy like this in it.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      That’s a patently ridiculous thing to say.

  7. druhlman - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    According to reports from his Miami workout he’s gained 20lbs of muscle and has improved his raw power as a result since leaving Cuba. Most scouts have improved their reports on him as a result.

  8. pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Two evil empires at work.

    • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:44 AM

      FYI, that’s a joke.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

        And yet there is an element of truth in it. Both teams certainly operate in a different economic stratosphere than the “lower 20”.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        Very true. It’s too bad most of New England doesn’t see it that way.

    • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      I’m a Yankess fan so it’s not like I’m complaining, but it’s nice to call Boston and other teams the evil empire at times, jokingly, of course.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        Larry Lucchino calling the Yankees the Evil Empire is in the Unintentional Irony Hall of Fame.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        Very true. It’s too bad most of New England doesn’t see it that way.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        Very true. It’s too bad most of New England doesn’t see it that way.

  9. pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    Sorry for the triple post. I’m not sure what happened there.

  10. twinfan24 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    I’m still not sure why foreign players aren’t subject to the draft. Someone can likely cite the rules, but I mean more in the sense of fairness. Why are US players subject to the draft and limited contracts, yet we see Cuban and Japanese players cashing in? In his case, he’s older, so may have already played professionally, but that isn’t the case with all Cuban players.

    • dan1111 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      He is already 27. If he had to go into the draft he would not become a free agent until near the end of his career. That would be unfair to him.

      • twinfan24 - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:28 PM

        If there were an age limit, I could understand. And, can see your point as far as Castillo’s current situation, as he is 27.

        But, what about other foreign players, such as Puig? He is only 23 now, so he wouldn’t have been any older than other college players and they are subject to the draft, and not becoming free agents until later. Seems like everyone should be subject to the same rules, regardless of where they came from. And, if that means an age limit for the draft, or any other rule, that’s fine as long as they apply to everyone equally. But, I’m sure we are about 2 replies from someone pulling politics into this, so I’ll quit asking now.

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