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Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to sign with the Red Sox for $72 million

Aug 22, 2014, 11:01 AM EST

We’ve been following the derby to sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Now it looks like the Red Sox have won the derby:

The deal would be a record for an amateur free agent, which is a coup for Roc Nation, Jay Z’s agency. That’s a lot more than Yasiel Puig got ($42 million), and Puig was considered Castillo’s closest comp. Of course, almost as soon as Puig hit the big leagues everyone realized that the Dodgers got a bargain. And people have realized that Jose Abreu was underestimated as well. Elite Cuban players are more big league ready than a lot of experts thought.

A good question is what the Sox will do with Castillo. He’s a center fielder and is said to have plus speed. The Red Sox, however, have been grooming Jackie Bradley, Jr. to take over center. And have taught the position to Mookie Betts as well. They also have Allen Craig, Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Nava hanging around in the corners. You have to assume that the Sox are going to trade one of those guys. Maybe two. I suppose it depends on how much faith they have in Castillo.

But $72 million suggests an awful lot of faith.

101 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. pwshrugged - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Oof. Everything I was hearing out of the Detroit sports media was that the Tigers brass were hard after him to fill that void in CF. Tough blow for the Tigers front office; still, may be a blessing in disguise, since that’s a lot of money for an unproven MLB commodity.

    • joerymi - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      I didn’t think there was much of a chance the Tigers were going to outbid the Red Sox. Both teams are in very different situations. The Tigers are in win now mode, while the Sox are in retool mode.

      The Tigers have a two-three year window, essentially. Castillo was not going to make an impact this season, and with the need to fill Hunter’s position and pay V-Mart next year, it is too much of a gamble. I tend to think they will overpay someone to fill Hunter’s spot, but if you’re going to overpay, it might as well be a proven commodity.

      From the Red Sox perspective, it seems like a solid move. Sure it’s a gamble but they needed to do something, and this won’t cost them prospects. I also tend to doubt this will drastically inhibit them from making free agency deals in the future, even if he turns out to be a dud.

  2. pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    The poor Evil Empire strikes again.

  3. toodrunktotastethischicken - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Does the remainder of this season count as one of the contracted years?

    • Caught Looking - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Yes. He’s signed through 2020. $10.36 million counts against the luxury tax threshold this season (2014).

  4. chip56 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    May it work out for them as well as Jose Contreras did for the Yankees.

    • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      One can only hope.

  5. chip56 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    They’re also going to need to make some moves: Craig, Cespedes, Castillo, Victorino, Bradley and Betts can’t all play.

    • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      The Yankees could use a new right fielder next season. I don’t think you can count on Beltran being able to play out there or maybe Prado is someone they would like to sign.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        A lot of the RAB writers like Melky, but their OF is already clogged. Unless they are going to release Arod, he’s probably going to DH, which puts Beltran at RF.

      • dondada10 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

        I think Prado has two years left on his current deal. Good money too.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Beltran has that bad elbow and I don’t think he’ll be playing in the field a lot. They never should have let Melky go in the first place. I have no idea what’s going to happen with Arod. I think it’s going to be hard for the Yankees to eat that much on his contract to release him, but I also can’t see him coming back and being able to contribute much. The Yankees are a hot mess.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        @dondada10: Oh I had no idea he had so much left on his contract. I’ve liked what I’ve seen of him, so that’s good to hear.

      • chip56 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:30 AM

        My guess is that Prado starts in RF but will eventually have to move to 3b if/when Alex breaks down. I guess Tyler Austin would be the RF at that point.

      • chip56 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        COPO –

        The Yankees have two choices: Alex at 3b, Prado RF and Beltran DH or Prado 3b, Beltran RF and Alex DH…assuming they retain Alex.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        Chip, you actually think Arod will be playing? I’ve also really liked Headley and wonder if they would bring him back.

      • chip56 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        Re: Alex – that’s a lot of money for the Yankees to just eat. Plus, the one thing he does do is put butts in seats and that’s not something the Yankees are likely to overlook.

        I don’t know how they can bring Headley back. I just don’t see the roster space for him to start unless they go with:

        Prado – 2b
        Beltran – RF
        Alex – DH
        Headley – 3b

        Which is possible, but they really seem to like the kid Refsnyder in AAA as a 2b option.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        Who are the Yanks trading?

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        Oh, and hellz yes ARod plays next year. If he can post an OPS+ of 110-115, like 2012-13, and not be a total boat anchor on D, that’s better than other options.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        Regarding Arod, I don’t know. I don’t think he’s just going to magically pickup where he left off a couple seasons ago and lets not forget how sensitive he is. I’m not sure the fans are going to be welcoming him back with open arms.

      • genericcommenter - Aug 22, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        Re: the comment about the Yankees not letting Melky go in the first place

        Melky had stalled as a 4th-OFer level producer when he was with the Yankees. If anything he peaked his rookie year and regressed or stayed basically the same for 3 years.

        Then, when he went to Atlanta he got WORSE. He’s had 4 starter-caliber seasons in his 10 year career, and 3 of them were in the last 4 years.

        Plus, the guy who took over for Melky in CF in 2010 was one of most valuable players in the league that season at a salary of $452,000. According to Baseball-Ref he was the most valuable fielder. Now, he’s easily the best position player on the Yankees. Melky was below replacement level in 2010. The Yankees had a stacked OF without him. in fact Brett Gardner has had a more productive career than Melky. They could have used him last year (but he wasn’t any good then) or when Gardner got hurt, but that’s about it. They didn’t even need a 4th OFer in 2010-2011.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM

      Napoli, Cespedes and Victorino are only signed through 2015. The Sawks could let JBJ develop his bat in Pawtucket, and go with Cespedes, Castillo & Victorino as the primary OF’s, with Craig getting starts rotating between LF, 1B and DH; and Betts as a super utility guy.

      There was talk before this season that Betts could learn how to play SS.

      Having a lot of good players is a good problem to have, and injuries all too often end up making a few decisions on who gets to play where and how much.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Having a lot of good players is a good problem to have, and injuries all too often end up making a few decisions on who gets to play where and how much.

        This x100. And the Sox don’t have to bring up Betts/JBJ next year either if the spots in the field are filled. They can burn an option and leave the players down in AAA/trade for a starter if need be.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        You should be wary of agreeing with me. I’m mad, bad and dangerous to know.

        Noted HBT amateur psychologists no less than Craig and “Jack Glasscock’s Cup” have stated that I need therapy.

        You have been warned.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        I think they have to trade Betts. He’s meant to be a second baseman (I hear he doesn’t have the arm for shortstop, by the way). I don’t imagine his trade value will ever be higher.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        His arm is a little short for SS, but his range and athleticism profile pretty well there. The idea would be for him to out-hit his throwing liabilities.

        As far as his trade value goes – you may be right about that. But the Sawks may feel that his actual ability level is even higher than his trade value.

        One factor that affects his trade value negatively right now is the widespread perception that he’s trade bait. If other teams feel that the Sawks have to trade him, low-ball offers will follow.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        You should be wary of agreeing with me. I’m mad, bad and dangerous to know.

        Meh, lots of people don’t like have their opinions challenged. It’s nothing personal, just strictly business…

        re: Betts trade

        Outside of pitching, with the Castillo signing who’s left to trade for? Stanton is superfluous with the glut of OF’s. Any young pitching on the market?

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        Cespedes, Betts, JBJ & Allen Webster for Stanton & Jose Fernandez

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      You can add Holt and Nava to that mix.

    • ajsjr40 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      They can’t play is literal for most of these guys.

  6. nolasoxfan2012 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Sox fan here. This feels like an overreaction to the crappy season and the fact that they didn’t close the deal with Jose Abreu last year. Also, did they just give an unproven player almost as much money as they offered their ace in February? Does that make sense?

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Sawks offered Lester 4 extra years at $70 million, or 17.5 million per season. It was a lowball offer by current MLB standards.

      6 years at AAV of $12 million for a field player who is 3 years younger than Lester means it is not close to an apples-to-apples comparison, however.

      • nolasoxfan2012 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        It’s not apples-to-apples, but it’s an interesting comparison in terms of risk management. They were unwilling to extend themselves on their ace due to the risk of him tailing off in his early 30s. But, now they are willing to gamble $70+M that a completely untested 27-year-old can become a solid regular. I think Lester – even if the risk is closer to $130M – is probably a better bet than Castillo at $72M. Maybe the Sox win big here and Castillo turns out to be a really good player. But, he could also end up being a total albatross, with nowhere to go on the roster when MLB pitchers figure out he can’t hit a curveball. Even if Lester tails off from the level he’s at this season, there’s not much risk he will be completely useless over the length of his next contract.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        It would be a good comparison if Lester could have been signed for $70MM. If the risk is closer to $130MM, as you said (and it’ll definitely be higher once he hits FA), then then I’d much rather have a 27-year-old position player than a 31-year-old pitcher. Sure, Lester’s proven himself more than Castillo has, but he’s also a pitcher, and a pitcher making it through a 6-year deal is extremely rare.

        I think people are also too quick to call an international player unproven and a current MLB player proven. Established cuban position players who’ve made it over recently have had a very good success rate. Lester, meanwhile, is having an amazing season, but had nearly three years of merely good-to-very-good performance before a couple months before the WS last year.

        Performances vary wildly year to year even with “proven” players, and they vary even more with pitchers, who can go from ace-level to on-she-shelf in the blink of an eye. So while Rusney is a relatively unknown stock, he’s one with a lot of upside who doesn’t need to come close to meeting it to be worth his bargain prime-age contract.

    • jrob23 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      I disagree. They need a table setter and speed in the leadoff position and he gives them that. $12 a year could be a bargain if he can do that. This also allows them to package a few of these extra outfield prospects for a #2 starter. The move is as much about 2016 and beyond when they will be losing decent but aging and slow hitters. Just need some arms now and I think they’ll be right there in playoffs going forward

  7. jbriggs81 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    How come every article I read that involves either John Henry or any front office guys, they always talk about how the Red Sox build their team differently than the Yankees. They always try to make it sound as though Boston is building their team from their farm system and not through free agency signings. Yet they go and make HUGE signings like this, or even Victorino last season. They aren’t some small market team despite what they suggest. They have a bloated payroll just like the Yanks

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      John Henry uses a hammer while those Yankees drive steel with a steam drill. That’s the difference.

      • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        John Lackey thinks that’s a PED reference.

    • jrob23 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      Sox have top five farm system and because of that cheaper talent it allows them to sign FA. This is $10 a year for a potential leadoff hitter with great speed. Hardly breaking the bank.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      A bloated payroll is not the same thing as a big payroll. (Also, here’s a fun fact: the Red Sox won the World Series last year.)

      The Red Sox wasted $8 million on AJ Pierzynski and are getting nothing from Victorino, this year, for $15 million (though that was a good signing, given 2013’s results). Neither is signed past 2015. AJ’s already gone. Clay Buchholz is presently on a 4-year deal for $30 million. Mujica at 2 years, $10 million, doesn’t seem like a good investment, but it hardly prevents the Red Sox from doing anything else.

      Do I need to list all the bad contracts the Yankees are carrying?

      • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        Last year is, like, sooo two thousand thirteen.

    • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      Red Sox fans can admit it or not but there’s a big double standard when it comes to this stuff and you’ll never win the argument.

      Bottom line: Both teams spend a lot of money on free agents and both have the money to re-sign the players they have now. The Red Sox organization would make you think they’re in the same market as Minnesota or Kansas City.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        We know we’re rich.

        The thing is, the gap between the Red Sox’ version of rich and the Yankees’ version of rich is the same gulf between the Red Sox and the Orioles. Even in the one year that they were closest in payroll — 2011 — the Yankees still spent $25 million or so more than the Red Sox did. (I looked this up a while ago, so I may have the details wrong.)

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        That’s always the same response from Sox fans and yet the Red Sox have won three championships in the last ten years. I wouldn’t say that massive gap between the Yankees and the Sox has really hurt them.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        And you’re going to use that logic, can you start using the Dodgers in place of the Yankees because they’ve got 30 million on the Yankees and 70 million on your team.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        Yes, the Dodgers also spend a lot of money. Is that your rebuttal?

        Red Sox fans have a more than passing familiarity with the Dodgers’ payroll.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        It’s not really a rebuttal but rather just a fact. If you’re going to complain about the Yankees, you should probably also complain about the team that has the highest payroll in baseball, the Dodgers. Not once have I seen you or any of the other Red Sox fans bring up the Dodgers in this type of conversation as it’s just the Yankees who have this massive payroll gap that just flattens the poor Red Sox organization.

        And actually my rebuttal was a couple comments up.

      • ajsjr40 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        As a Sox fan I don’t care if they spend $500M a year on payroll. Watching this team every night (actually only an inning or two it’s so bad) is horrendous. The Sox problem is that they like to play the ‘we are smarter than everyone else’ card and in two of the last three years it has been a disaster. This past offseason was a horrific disaster in planning and execution.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:15 PM

        Which goes to show you no matter how much money a team spends it’s only as good as the people making the decisions. Just look at the 80’s teams of the Yankees.

      • nolasoxfan2012 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        Actually, you can take a look at the Yankees of the last 10 years. All that money for one championship and they are in tough shape going forward.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        True. And you can look at this Sox team that’s been incredibly inconsistent from year to year with all of the money they spend. Yes they’ve won, but finishing in last place two of the last three seasons doesn’t exactly sound like things are running on all cylinders and it certainly doesn’t jive with their payroll.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:02 PM

        So Pete, your argument is still that, yeah, Boston spends a signficant amount less than New York and can’t really be compared to the Yankees’ payroll, but they won last year, so… money doesn’t matter? Like, Boston fans are only supposed to complain about being compared to New York’s absurd payroll if the Red Sox are not only spending a lot less money than New York, but are also losing?

        And the reason Boston doesn’t complain about being compared to the Dodgers is because no one does that. If they did, we’d complain about that, as that would also be a stupid comparison to make.

    • edelmanfanclub - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      This is a good point, but the Red Sox don’t throw money around like the Yankees do. Sure they’ll toss people 10-15 million. But this is over 3-4 years, 5 max. Yankees hand out 6-7 year deals with Annual Averages over 20 million like it’s nothing. I’d rather pay 3/60 million than 6/110. More annual average but less of a contract length with total money. While this is a 7 year deal, when do you ever see players sign 7 year deals worth 10-11 annually? It’s very rare, since a 7 year deal these days is almost guaranteed to be north of 100,000,000 dollars.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Methinks you’re mis-remembering some very key contracts the Red Sox have signed in the past 10 or so years. Here are some of the 6+ year deals where the player was either signed as a FA or extended after a trade:

        Pedro
        Manny Ramirez
        Carl Crawford
        Adrian Gonzalez
        Matsuzaka
        Pedrioa

        There’s probably more I’ve missed, and this doesn’t count the FA’s they didn’t sign, but would have committed to. And now there’s Castillo. That’s a good number of long term deals right there. Sure, they’ve had some other shorter term deals, but every team has those.

        Let’s not fool ourselves into believing the Sox are not one of the big spenders in terms of dollars spent, and years committed. They got lucky being able to dump some bad contracts with that trade to the Dodgers.

      • edelmanfanclub - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Me thinks those contracts were signed under a different regime. Pedroia was signed before free agency, Pedro was signed cheap. DiceK was too just had that crazy posting fee. The Sox havent dished out those deals in a while. It stopped after Crawford, they aren’t paying more than 5 years if its a 9 figure deal.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        One regime or not…just pointing out that the Sox have, in fact, had their fair share of long-term contracts, and that they clearly have the money to do so. It’s certainly smart to avoid the big long term contracts, and perhaps this new regime will adhere to that philosophy. Judging from this signing, it appears they are not shy about giving out years. There is a lot of history to be told with this regime yet, and we’ll see how things play out.

      • nolasoxfan2012 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Including Pedroia in a list of big contracts is just silly. He signed a massively under-market contract.

  8. jt2663 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Sox will sign Cespedes to similar extension, then package Cespedes, Castillo And a pitching prospect to Miami for Stanton.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM

      I got so excited when I read this that I peed myself a little.

    • toocoolfool - Sep 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      As much as I would like Stanton on the sox, as a fan, I wouldn’t even like to see that trade happen. Think about it, cespedes is a .270 25hr 100rbi hitter (possibly more, as he’s playing at Fenway now) and stanton is a .300 35hr 115rbi player. Sure stanton is a upgrade from cespedes, but is it worth the upgrade at the cost of Castillo? What if castillo pans out to be like ellsbury? A .280 15hr 40 stolen base player. Not worth it. If castillo pans out, your trading 2 all star outfielders plus a prospect for 1 superstar. Not to mention, if the sox did do that trade, they would probably want to sign stanton long term. Stanton would probably want a 7-8 year deal. Do you really think he’s gunna be that superstar for 8 more years? The stanton extension might look good now, but 6 years from now, not so much

  9. jerze2387 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    So an OF/2B player with speed and some power. Don’t they already have mookie betts for that exact role? Seems like a more expensive, older duplicate.

    I think they got caught up in the run of exceptional Cuban players coming over, got in a bidding war with a desperate tigers team that was trying to fill a hole for a playoff race, and overpaid.

    • toocoolfool - Sep 4, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Don’t forget, they can be moved to RF as well, considering at Fenway there’s so muchh ground to cover in RF that it’s almost like a second CF. So the sox future outfield could look like this
      LF cespedes CF betts RF castillo. Or they could always use betts or castillo or both as trade chips.

  10. scoochpooch - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Future roidhead.
    Roid trifecta for Sox – Ortiz, Cespedes, Castillo.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Troll.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      It’s because they are all hispanic, right? What Caribbean country did Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, and Mark McGwire come from?

      • Paper Lions - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Key West?

  11. thebadguyswon - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Man….seems like a big overpay for a 27-year old. And 7 years too. Ooof is right.

    • thebadguyswon - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      I mean 6 years. Point stands.

  12. edelmanfanclub - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    First thing I said was DAAAAAMNNN. And still saying it now… 72 million is a good chunk of a change, but if this guy is anything like Puig well worth it. What are we doing with so many OF bats? I said this at the deadline and I am saying it now. Nava, Victorino, Betts, Bradley, Craig, Cespedes. Betts or Bradley look like they are being moved, Nava too. Maybe even Napoli if they think Craig can slide in over at 1st. Need to see him hit in September though.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Something’s gotta give. I really wonder what’s going to happen.

      #analysis

      • edelmanfanclub - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        Probably dealing Napoli, Nava and Bradley/Betts this offseason. Holding on to Betts/Bradley until Victorino’s deal is done. Their lineup for the future looks a very right heavy though, if Bradley and Nava are gone.

        C: Vazquez
        1B: Craig
        2B: Pedroia
        SS: Bogaerts
        3B: Holt
        LF: Cespedes
        CF: Castillo
        RF: Victorino
        DH: Ortiz

        Even if Castillo is in AAA, thats quite a bit of righties. There has to be some trades or signings to bring in a lefty bat.

    • ilovegspot - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      If he is anything like Puig?? Puig is 4 inches taller and forty pounds stronger with amazing speed. Puig is 5 years younger too.

      • toocoolfool - Sep 4, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        Puig isn’t the right comparison. I’m saying the sox saw a lot of ellsbury (someone they greatly miss) in castillo. Both have game changing speed, a good average, and some pop

  13. phillysports1 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Cuban Talent.

  14. Ari Collins - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    For those using this to pretend the Sox are just like the Yankees:

    Boston won last year with an opening day payroll $78MM behind the Yankees.

    This year the difference was “only” $41MM, though that difference has increased significantly since opening, as Boston was smart enough to realize they weren’t going to make it and unloaded some contracts.

    More important than your payroll, though, is your financial flexiblity year to year. Even with Castillo, Boston is committed to a little over $100MM in 2015 and ~$35MM in 2016. The Yankees: $167MM both years.

    Boston’s in the second tier of payrolls, along with teams like the Giants, Angels, Tigers, and Phillies (!). But pretending they’re in the same realm as the Yankees and Dodgers is an exercise in bad math and false equivalencies.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      A few minor points:

      The Red Sox team salary right now is twice that of the Oakland A’s.

      The Sawks’ commitment to payroll flexibility is a fairly new development, and their success in attaining said flexibility was greatly aided by the Dodgers.

      Furthermore – what do you suppose the Sawks payroll will look like after they sign 2 free agent pitchers this offseason? Because you know they probably will.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        In fairness, every team SAYS they value payroll flexibility. So their past failures are typical of rich franchises. The Red Sox, as a rich team, have achieved it. It’s impressive.

      • Ari Collins - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:28 PM

        In order:

        Yes, Boston’s salary is in the second tier (or was at the start of the season, and likely will be again), as I said. No one’s saying they’re a low-payroll team. But pretending that they’re in the realm of the Yankees or Dodgers and any different from the Giants, Phillies, and Tigers is rather silly.

        And yes, Boston was able to dump the contracts of the Gonzalez, Crawford, and Beckett, but that doesn’t mean that financial flexibility is a new development for them. Before Crawford and Gonzalez, Boston hadn’t given out a $20MM salary since the previous showrunners gave Manny his deal. Their most expensive player on the 2007 WS Champs was J.D. Drew’s $14MM. A few years later, they had the financial flexibility to sign a couple players to huge deals, and they totally whiffed on which players (for example, Cliff Lee was available the same offseason as Crawford). They took advantage of the Dodgers’ desire to build quickly, and Boston quickly regained their previous financial flexibility, bolstered in large part by a new wave of cheap talent from the farm system that should allow them to spend on free agents without hampering themselves as much in the future.

        As to Boston’s offseason, if they do sign two free agent pitchers it will be BECAUSE of their financial flexibility, and it won’t dampen that flexibility much. Castillo brings their total committed 2016 payroll to $35MM. Even if they spent $50MM/year on pitching this offseason, they’d still have great payroll flexibility moving forward. And in 2015 they’d likely still be 5th or 6th in payroll.

        So yeah, my original point still stands. Comparing their payrolls or how they spend them to the Yankees and Dodgers is ludicrous.

        That said, I should admit: financial flexibility hasn’t helped them much two of the last three years.

  15. historiophiliac - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Thank you, Jobu. Now, DD, get back to fixing the dang bullpen!!! >:(

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      I thought it was fixed by the Jim Johnson signing? No?

      • historiophiliac - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Johnny Football thinks you’re #1.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        You have a pet football named Johnny?

  16. chargrz - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    SALARY CAP!

    • kiwicricket - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:44 AM

      Why?

  17. carefreejt6 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    carefreejt6 – Aug 21, 2014 at 9:42 PM
    sox, done deal

    how do you like them apples?

  18. papacrick - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    This kid is an idiot to choose the Sox over the Tigers. He went to a cellar dweller instead of a perennial world series contender with an open spot for him. Now he will go where they don’t have a CF opening and can enjoy being in last place for the next seven years. He’ll probably flame out anyway and is a product of the Cuban hype

    • Paper Lions - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      Uh huh.

      He went to a team with an great farm system that spends money while (now) avoiding albatross contracts. The Tigers are an aging team with an empty farm system and some horrible contracts that haven’t even started yet (Verlander and Cabrera). They are an old team that has gone all in and is nearing the end of a competitive window.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        The Sox avoid albatross contracts? That seems a little revisionist. They got themselves out of some albatross contracts because the Dodgers wanted to make a big splash, and perhaps the Sox have even learned their lesson.

      • Paper Lions - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        That is why I said “(now)”….because the new regime has set limits to what they’ll do…which is why Lester is not going to re-sign with them, why the didn’t even try to keep Ellsbury, and why they won’t be spending $150M on a single player any time soon.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=aesop%27s+fables+sour+grapes

    • toocoolfool - Sep 4, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      Excuse me? When was Detroit’s last World Series championship? 30 years ago? HAHAHAHHAAH. Are you still mad you lost last year to the redsox? Are you forgetting the redsox won 3 World Series in the last 10 years? And are you forgetting the redsox are one of the richest teams with one of the best farm systems in baseball? You realize the redsox are one of the only teams that can retool from a terrible year and become the best team in baseball the next. This kid was a genius to come to redsox. He has a way better chance of wining a ring with us than he weber will with your tigers, aka the team that CHOKES in the postseason. Anyways, have a splendid 30 more years of no championships! LOL

  19. drewsylvania - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Rock on. Pretty excellent hedge against Bradley sucking and Victorino having trouble coming back.

    • thebadguyswon - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      What hedge? Bradley DOES suck.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        I’m probably nitpicking, but to say a guy sucks is to say he has no value at all.

        Bradley is an amazing fielder. He sucks as a hitter.

  20. kinggator - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    I love to smoke a good Cuban, or eat one if it’s pressed w/honey butter and I even dated a few along the way. But a $72M Cuban has all of them beat by 110 miles (and them some)! Good Luck Rusney!

  21. deedee2die4 - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    I wonder if Castillo will ask for Pumpsie Green’s old number.

  22. jt2663 - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I’d take 2 last place finishes and 1 WS title over 3 mediocre seasons.

  23. devilsmetsgiants - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Cespedes to the Mets to play LF next season.

    • toocoolfool - Sep 4, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      LMAO

  24. trbmb - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    The magnificent GM For Life, Cashboy, now, in addition to not ever being able to draft and develop players, also is a loser at the free agent game. Cash no longer always works for Cashboy. The Yankee near and long term future now looks very bleak, with the Red Sox beating them in recovery.

    Time is up for you Cashboy. Time to cash out and go away.

  25. irishlad19 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    I’m not sold on Boegarts as SS, he’s got to start hitting and improve his fielding.
    Pedroia is on the downside of his career, they should keep Betts to follow him, perhaps play SS in the interim.
    Nava is a keeper, he does nothing but produce; 4th OF.
    Trade for one or two front line pitchers, try to re-sign Lester, ship Bucholtz to who ever offers anything–he’s finished in his own mind.
    The BoSox can win next year with some good luck.

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