Red Sox Sign Rusney Castillo

The Red Sox have announced the signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year contract potentially worth $72.5MM, assuming that Castillo does not opt out of the contract before 2020.

Castillo will receive $100K in salary for 2014, but with a $5.4MM signing bonus. He will then receive $10.5MM per season from 2015 through 2017, then $11MM in 2018 and 2019. He will then have the ability to opt out of the deal or to take a $13.5MM salary for 2020. The deal also contains a limited no-trade clause.

Rusney CastilloThe 27-year-old Castillo’s name has generated increasing interest over the past several weeks, but Boston’s agreement with the Roc Nation Sports client is significantly larger than most had figured. Previous reports indicated that Castillo could land a five-year deal valued somewhere between $50MM and $60MM, but this contract will eclipse Jose Abreu‘s six-year, $68MM pact with the White Sox for the largest contract ever issued to a Cuban free agent.

Castillo, who also drew interest from the Tigers, Giants, Phillies, Yankees, Cubs and Mariners, held a showcase for scouts earlier this month. Scouts from 28 of the 30 Major League teams were apparently on hand, and the general consensus was that Castillo was a highly impressive talent who was capable of helping a Major League club in 2014.

Ben Badler of Baseball America’s most recent scouting reports cite Castillo’s 70-grade speed as his best tool, but scouts at his showcase noted that he had surprising power and an average throwing arm in the outfield, leading many to believe him capable of becoming a five-tool center fielder. Some have compared him to a more powerful version of Brett Gardner, though that is a best-case scenario outcome.

Many expected Castillo to sign with a contending team because of his proximity to the Major Leagues, but Castillo instead will be the second significant 2015 piece that Boston GM Ben Cherington has added during the 2014 season. Though the Red Sox are in last place, they’ve added Castillo and countryman Yoenis Cespedes to the fold, each of whom was acquired with the intention of helping Boston’s chances next year.

The signing of Castillo adds to a crowded outfield picture in Boston. Shane Victorino and Cespedes are both under contract through 2015, with Cespedes set to earn $10.5MM and Victorino earning $13MM. The team also acquired Allen Craig from the Cardinals in the John Lackey trade, and Craig is guaranteed $26.5MM through the 2017 season. While he can play first base or DH, of course, the Red Sox have Mike Napoli and David Ortiz entrenched at those respective positions next season.

Beyond the guaranteed contracts, Castillo’s presence further muddies the long-term roles of both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts with the organization. Bradley has proven himself an elite defensive center fielder this season, but he’s failed to adapt to Major League pitching and has authored a meager .210/.286/.300 batting line in 494 career plate appearances. Betts, a second baseman by trade, is blocked at his natural position by Dustin Pedroia and therefore converted to center field in 2014. However, with Castillo in the fold, the Red Sox now have a full outfield of guaranteed contracts, which could make it difficult for him to find everyday at-bats next year. However, Betts’ .335/.417/.503 batting line at Triple-A this season is a strong indicator that he is a Major-League-ready talent.

It’s certainly possible that the addition of Castillo will lead to some further roster shuffling by the Red Sox this offseason. Cherington and his staff will have a number of different resources — both veterans on guaranteed contracts and controllable, high upside prospects — at their disposal should they wish to leverage the trade market to address some or all of their starting pitching needs.

William Perez Villalba of Glorias del Beisbol Cubano first noted on Facebook that the two sides were in agreement and reported the general parameters, with MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez confirming that the two sides were “on track” for a deal in that range. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald and ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reported the $72.5MM guarantee and seven-year term. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford were the first to report key details about the structure of Castillo’s contract.

Photo courtesy of Larry Marano.


275 Responses to Red Sox Sign Rusney Castillo Leave a Reply

  1. bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

    They cannot give Lester fair market value, but the Red Sox can inflate the Castillo contract to 50% over original projections?

    Why? Just because he is 27?

    • The Tigers can’t give Scherzer market value, but they can trade for David Price.

      Castillo is young. Lester is not. Castillo’s contract won’t be a major hit on our payroll. Lester would.

      • LittleOtterPaws 11 months ago

        I agree with you, but the holdup with teams like the Red Sox or Yankees is about value, not payroll restrictions.

      • MB923 11 months ago

        Lester is an all star/Cy Young caliber pitcher. Castillo hasn’t played a game yet.

        • Big money deals for aging pitchers almost always go south. This could too, but it’s 70 million.

          • jacks81x 11 months ago

            I agree, but it’s not like Lester is 35. Plus the Sox had the opportunity to lock him up long-term the last couple years when he was 28-29. Lefties also tend to age a little better than righties do, especially for someone like Lester who has very good control.

        • Karkat 11 months ago

          So was Sabathia.

          • jacks81x 11 months ago

            As was Randy Johnson, who at age 40 had 16 wins, a 2.60 ERA, 290 Ks, and finished 2nd in the Cy Young.

          • Red_Line_9 11 months ago

            Interesting, I’d say lefties hang on longer in general because there are fewer of them. There are always outliers though such as Johnson or Jaime Moyer. I’d say their sustained success, especially with Johnson had more to do with elite talent than handedness. Righties will always have Nolan Ryan

          • MB923 11 months ago

            And? I never said Sabathia’s contract was great, nor am I saying Lester will live up to the one he gets. The point is, if one of the 2 (Lester or Castillo) deserves the big bucks, it’s obviously Lester.

          • Karkat 11 months ago

            I think we gladly would’ve given Lester a 6-year $72million contract! 😛

          • MB923 11 months ago

            $72 million isn’t “big bucks” for a #1-#2 pitcher nowadays. 5-10 years ago that would be, but not today.

          • Karkat 11 months ago

            I’m just trying to express that I don’t think the comparison you’re making is felicitous.

          • MB923 11 months ago

            I’m not comparing the 2. I’m responding to 2 others who did.

            I think it’s fair to compare contracts though.

          • vtadave 11 months ago

            Hey, stop using big words like “felicitous” here. The Internet has no place for that. :-)

          • Ishkabibble 11 months ago

            Obviously, huh?

        • Better 11 months ago

          He’s a Cy Young caliber pitcher this year…1 year…and he’s 30.

      • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

        I also think (at least for the Lester/Castillo debate) is the fact that one is a pitcher. A lot of teams (Red Sox, especially) have shown a hesitance to give pitcher long term deals. While Castillo may get hurt during his contract, I’d bet the percentages are much higher that Lester will get injured (not that I want either to happen).

      • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

        1. Tigers offered Scherzer almost DOUBLE what the Red Sox offered Lester. $144MM was the offer [NOTE: I corrected the number]. Do you really think that offer was not market value?

        2. Castillo projects to be closer to Rajai Davis (younger) than Puig. He better be Puig at that contract level.

        • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

          He’s making $12 M a year – he “needs” to be a 2 WAR player. Just because some teams found a market inefficiency in the Cuban players early on in this cycle and took a chance that they’d work out well, doesn’t mean you can compare all players to the early signings. It’s better to compare them to the most recent signing (as teams see that – for the most part – only really good players are defecting).

        • MB923 11 months ago

          I think it was $144 million, not $175 million

          • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

            I stand correctly. There were no negotiations. That was the Tigers STARTING position. Very likely they would have come close to the Verlander $180MM level (with one more year, perhaps vesting option), IF they negotiated.

        • If he can get more, than no. It isn’t market value by definition.

          The Sox clearly saw more than Davis in him. Hopefully whoever evaluated Craig wasn’t doing to work.

          • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

            Boras/Scherzer took a huge risk that he could be close to Cy Young level again. Insurance policy covered the risk to a certain extent.

            However the STARTING contract offer was fair market value IMO if he were a free agent last year.

          • Fair is one thing. But you asked if it was market value. Which it wouldn’t be if he could get more. Market value is dictated by what team’s are willing to pay. Not what you think they deserve.

          • Mr Pike 11 months ago

            It sure seemed like fair market last winter when it was offered. It’s not now after the year Scherzer is having. Scherzer gambled on himself and won. If he had a crappy 2014, it would have been an overpay.

          • Fair market value and market value are not the same thing.

          • Better 11 months ago

            I’m certain the Red Sox see Giancarlo Stanton in him. Miami can’t trade Stanton unless they get guys that will draw fans and in a heavily Cuban populated area those guys are Cespedes and Castillo.

          • Red_Line_9 11 months ago

            Makes you wonder why the Marlins weren’t in on him now, rather than deal Stanton to Boston to acquire him down the road. They’ll be on the hook for that salary one way or another and also be getting an older player. I think it’s easy to make assumptions about market bases as well. It seems that every Asian player that hits the market… fans link the Giants to them.

          • The Sox did not sign Castillo to get Stanton. That is not something you should be certain about.

          • Better 11 months ago

            They got Castillo to replace Cespedes when he’s traded for Stanton.

        • stl_cards16 11 months ago

          He better be Puig at $12MM a year? Have you seen contracts lately? If Puig were a Free Agent right now he’d sign for more than double this contract.

        • nslfy 11 months ago

          If he projects to be a young Rajai Davis then he will be traded for an over the hill, end of his career pitcher that gave no value to his new team. Thanks Dave Littlefield!

        • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

          He projects to be Rajai Davis according to who? I’m assuming you haven’t seen him play, so let’s pump the brakes on the comparisons. If I remember correctly a lot of scouts were not in love with Puig or Abreu, either.

          If he can put up an OPS+ of 105-110, he’ll be giving them what Ellsbury did for less than half of the cost.

      • lwayne 11 months ago

        Being back loaded, if he does not pan out as far as his salary goes, he will be an anchor and untradeable, sort of like Josh Hamilton already is. Paying 25 mil for a 7 mil player for several more years. Long termers usually do not work our well for the team.

        • Backloaded doesn’t really matter. If he becomes a burden and the Sox can’t move him without eating money, they would.

        • Karkat 11 months ago

          Sounds like it’s only “back-loaded” in the sense that the 72 million is pretty much all spread out over the next six seasons, with almost nothing coming this year.

        • 108 stitches 11 months ago

          Be careful, if Vernon Wells was able to be traded, their is hope that Hamilton could be as well. Power is in such short supply a team with a short right field fence might bite on Hamilton at a discounted price (3/60 million as opposed to 3/75).

          • 108 stitches 11 months ago

            I correct myself I just looked at COT’s and realized how back loaded that contract is. Still I could see a team biting on his bat for 3/60 as opposed to 3/89.

      • Bob George 11 months ago

        But Castillo is a virtual unknown. These guys do not get scouted in Cuba, so the book on them is very small. Teams see a Cuban free agent and fall all over themselves. It’s a very odd system where unknowns get tens of millions in guaranteed money and most well known, heavily scouted, much younger prospects get a hundred k or less because of the draft rules.

      • Better 11 months ago

        Miami loves Cuban players

    • Bruinsfan94 11 months ago

      Fair market value for Lester is probably going to be 150+ for a 30 year old pitcher. As much as I hope they get him back or a solid pitcher its gonna be hard to justify that price. I don’t think that would be 50 % more but I don’t remember the first projections. I heard alot in the 60 million range. Abreu, puig and yc have all been a success. I cant think of many 30 year old pitchers on mega contracts who did that great.

    • Ralph Esposito 11 months ago

      Unbelievable! This could go down as one of the worst contracts of all time. All this does is make every player in baseball want triple of their actual market value.

      • Better 11 months ago

        I like this deal better than the Ellsbury deal…

      • BucknerRulz86 11 months ago

        Sorry, there are quite a few in front of this deal.
        Barry Zito and Vernon Wells say Hi.

    • Better 11 months ago

      Prior to this season would you have paid Jon Lester $22-$25M a year? People are so blinded by 1 good season. He hadn’t even received 1 Cy Young vote since like 2010…

    • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

      First of all we’re talking about a difference of about $100 million when comparing those two. Not to mention Castillo will play every day. The Sox offense has been horrible this year, and they just acquired another asset that will make them better…. without having to pay Ellsbury money or give up prospects.

  2. Christopher A. Otto 11 months ago

    Wow. … This pretty much guarantees that Yasmani Tomas gets a contract of $100M or more, right?

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Ehh, if I’m Tomas (which I’d never pretend to know about the struggles these guys go through to get out of Cuba), I’d probably look for a shorter deal (because of his age). Maybe 4-5 years (that way, he’s earned a significant amount of money, but if he plays well, still has a chance at that “huge” contract at 28-29). Tomas isn’t without his flaws either, though (some are worried about his uppercut swing – where he was regularly beat by the US power arms the last time he played for Cuba).
      I think, the only thing we’ve learned from this signing is that the Cuban market is unpredictable.

    • Ralph Esposito 11 months ago

      Daispagne and Toma’s will get in the $100-$125 million range each now. They have talent. It only takes one to throw everything out of whack.

  3. Phillyfan425 11 months ago

    Wow…just…wow. He may turn out to be a very good player – but this is more than Abreu got (although, depending on the guarantees/arbitration options, Abreu may end up with more) and from everything I’ve been reading, there was a lot less uncertainty about Abreu than there is Castillo. I guess the window has closed for getting the talent on the cheap from the Cuban market.

  4. MB923 11 months ago

    Wow.

  5. Sung Woo Chung 11 months ago

    I just want to hear Ben’s official explanation on signing Castillo. If he fails to sign Lester this off-season, there’s gonna be riots on the streets of Boston.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan
      Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

      Really? Rioting?

      Although, I would like know how someone who doesn’t have as good of an arm as Puig gets a bigger contract. I am sorry, but that just makese zero sense to me. Now grant it, i haven’t seen Castillo’s game, but still.

    • Better 11 months ago

      Not if they trade for Stanton

    • I don’t think so. Ben has a plan, whether its Hamels or Cueto, or some other SP not on the trade radar at the moment, Ben certainly has an offseason plan

  6. MilkMeMore 11 months ago

    Wow, well 10MM a year doesnt sound too bad. And for a team like Boston it should be chump change. So no real risk.

    • Ralph Esposito 11 months ago

      If I’m Lester and Boston has the stones to call me, I want 7 years $210 million. Not a penny less.

      • Red_Line_9 11 months ago

        Boston won’t get in a bidding war with Chicago for Lester, most likely.

        • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

          Neither Boston nor Chicago will make the highest offer for Lester, but I predict that one of them gets him.

          • Red_Line_9 11 months ago

            Likely not, I can see the Yankees and Angels and maybe even a dark horse Marlins in on him…maybe even Texas if they can clear Andrus off the ledger.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            I would love to see the Yankees get him, but I think that any team other than the Cubs or the Red Sox will have to give him seven years to get him and even then, I think that either the Cubs or the Red Sox could get him with a 5-year deal with a vestable option for a 6th year.

          • Red_Line_9 11 months ago

            Given the probable contract size, and the fact that the Cubs will likely be shopping makes them logical…aside from the Epstein connections. I honestly feel, though, that James Shields would make more sense for teams.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            I don’t disagree. 3 years of Shields is probably a better bet than 6-7 years of Lester. If either the Cubs or the Red Sox get Lester for 5 years, then it becomes a tougher call.

      • vtadave 11 months ago

        That’s it?
        – N. Colletti

  7. This is great. I love this deal.

    • Karkat 11 months ago

      I just really hope he isn’t a flop

      • I do too. But worst case scenario is that he’s a bit of deadweight on the payroll. I think of the Drew, Lugo, Cameron, 2012 Lackey, 2008 Schilling, etc, and see that we generally have survived carrying at least one stinky contract. Hopefully this isn’t it.

        • mattdecap 11 months ago

          J.D. or Stephen? I think the Red Sox would be very happy if Castillo put up the numbers J.D. did in the outfield.

          • MB923 11 months ago

            Yeah I don’t know why many Red Sox fans hated JD Drew’s contract. His only subpar year with the Sox was his last year in which he only played 81 games. His career OPS+ with Boston was still a very good 114.

          • vtadave 11 months ago

            I think they hated the person more than the contract.

          • He was injured all the time. While his OPS+ was respectable and his defense was stellar, he was never a difference maker besides his grand slam in game 6 of the 2007 ALCS and through June of 08. He was a constant disappointment.

          • mattdecap 11 months ago

            If by disappointment you mean getting on base 40% of the time, putting up ~4 fWAR in injury shortened seasons, and getting a big hit in a World Series championship postseason before breaking down in the last year of his 5 year deal, sure, I guess he was a disappointment. Maybe he wasn’t a “difference maker” on the level of Ramirez, Ortiz, or Youkilis, but just because he bat in an incredibly deep Red Sox line-up doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good player. The only knock on him is he missed a lot of games.

  8. Zac 11 months ago

    All I’m saying is that the sox either need to sign Lester or trade for Hamels, and possibly bring in Shields to be the #2 starter.

    • Why do they need to add 50+ million in rotational salary?

      • Zac 11 months ago

        Have you seen the rotation? Would you really want to go into the season with (buch, ruby, Webster, Workman, and Ranuado) as your starters? None of those guys are are #1 or #2 starters. Sox won with great pitching last year. This current rotation won’t get us anywhere.

        • One, yea. We don’t need two.

          • Zac 11 months ago

            I defiantly believe two pitchers are needed. Why did the sox have a horrible season this year? Well in short terms because our offense didn’t hit. Why? Because Ben put to much faith in our prospects (Xander, JBJ, and WMB). We’d be making the same mistake if we relied on 3 rookie pitchers next season. We don’t know if Workman and Webster can be starters (both have been really shaky at times). Also Buch is always a question mark. Ruby looks like a solid #3-4 but that’s it. DO you honestly believe we can compete with those pitchers.

          • I think two are needed as well. But the second doesn’t need to be a risky front line starter on a mega deal.

          • Zac 11 months ago

            If the money is right, Shields should be the guy. He can pitch in the AL East and has been good the past few years. I just don’t believe Webster and Workman will be quality starters, I have no clue what Buch will give us, and a solid top two starters will be needed if this team wants to make the playoffs.

          • That’s a big if. I think he will be on their radar. Two top starters isn’t going to happen though. If that was what was on Cherington’s mind, Lester would have been extended.

          • Zac 11 months ago

            Well Cherington needs to bring in a solid #2 or #3 starter or this team is not going anywhere. You can’t win with 4 out of your 5 starters being average. Unless Buch somehow regains form, even with Lester or Hamels, it’d be one of the worst rotations in baseball.

          • Seamaholic 11 months ago

            Hate to break it to you, but the AL East kind of stinks these days.

          • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

            Really because I was under the impression that 2 out of the top 5 teams in OPS were in the AL east. Was I wrong?

          • FunkyTime 11 months ago

            4 of the 5 teams also have extremely hitter friendly parks.

          • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

            Which is why it is difficult to pitch there. That was what the conversation was about. I’m also fairly certain the the Blue Jays and Orioles would hit in pretty much any park on the planet.

          • Jim Johnson 11 months ago

            Not really. It’s just not top heavy this year. But from top to bottom it’s as good as any division in baseball.

          • MB923 11 months ago

            Above/below .500

            AL East – +9
            AL Central – +2
            AL West – +11

            NL East – +4
            NL Central – +6
            NL West – -20

            Not the strongest, but it certainly doesn’t stink.

    • Andrew m 11 months ago

      If the Sox sign Castillo and trade for Hamels, where does that leave their roster? Is that enough to compete?

      • Zac 11 months ago

        They’ll probably need another pitcher because as of right now, they have no #1 or #2 starters with a lot of questionable #3-5 starters. If they get Hamels and Bring in a proven #2-3 starter, I’d think they should be able to compete.

    • Red_Line_9 11 months ago

      Shields is a completely legit option.

    • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

      If Shields is the #2 starter, who is #1? Unless Lester decides to take a lot less money and years to stay with the Red Sox, I predict that they sign both Masterson and Shields to 3-year deals. I don’t know where you slot Buchholz with them, but he most certainly is not the best of the three. He might not even be #2.

      I also expect that the Red Sox will trade Shane Victorino to the Mets for Bartolo Colon, who will slot in to the #4 spot with one of the young pitchers, most likely Kelly, getting the #5 spot. Actually, Kelly could conceivably be #3 or #4 with Colon being #5.

      • Zac 11 months ago

        If you read my post their top priority is signing Lester or trading for Hamels. They could get either one of those guys and they would be the #1. I then stated that the sox should go after Shields so they can have a 1-2 punch. I’m not a fan of Masterson because he’s been awful this year and we can’t count on him being a #2. I don’t see Colon as an option unless they just want to dump salary to the mets. Colon has played in Boston before and it wasn’t good. My rotation would be #1 Lester/Hamels, #2 Shields, #3 Ruby, #4 Buch, #5 Kelly/Ranuado. If the sox want to win, they’ll have to spend money. The offense on paper has improved but the pitching rotation as it currently stands is one of the worst in the league.

        • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

          The problem with investing in expensive lefties like Hamels or Lester is that if/when they decline, they are more vulnerable in a ballpark like Fenway than a righty experiencing a similar decline. They can probably get more bang for their buck from Masterson or Shields than Hamels or Lester.

          Colon should be an option if the Red Sox want to swap a surplus outfielder (Victorino) for him and the Mets want to do the same. Colon’s numbers were not bad with the Red Sox and whatever happened when he was in Boston and Chicago is less relevant than the good years that he has had since then in NYC and Oakland.

          • Zac 11 months ago

            Yes it is a risky investment just like a lot of contracts now a days. The issue is that Ortiz doesn’t have much juice left and Pedey looks to be on the decline, if the sox want to compete in 2015 and 16, they’ll need an ace and a second pitcher like Shields to be a #2. Max is to expensive and that leaves Lester as the only ace left in FA. You either pay Lester upwards of 130-150M or trade 2-3 really good prospects for Hamels. This team will not compete if the top two starters are Shields and Masterson. The back of the rotation just isn’t good enough for that. Masterson is more of a risk then reward given the year he has had. The sox also don’t know what’ll they’ll get from buch or their rookie pitchers so adding Masterson to that, if they did what you said minus Colon cause that’s not happening, they’d have 4 question marks at starting pitching with Shields as the only reliable option. Lester or Hamels makes a long with Shields makes this team one of the best in the AL East.

          • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

            I disagree. I think that they have more offense than you think and I think that they would get much more out of one year of Colon than you think. Shields, Masterson, Buchholz, Kelly, Colon, and their bullpen would probably pitch to a team ERA of 3.50-3.75. Their offense will be good enough to score at least 4 runs a game if not more.

            If you really feel the need to have a stud at the top of the Red Sox rotation, I would try to sign Scherzer even if he costs more than Lester in terms of dollars and/or years or trade for Verlander, because he will cost less in terms of prospects than Hamels. At the end of their deals, Scherzer or Verlander will be less vulnerable in Fenway than Hamels or Lester, because the ballpark is so much friendlier for RHPs.

  9. Scott 11 months ago

    Maybe it’s just me and I’m definitely not a sox fan but I would rather pay a healthy jon lester in his prime than a guy that much that hasn’t proven he can do anything in mlb. They definitely overpaid on this one as it is right now

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      If the money is equal, sure. But Lester will probably double this total (6 years, $144 M isn’t out of the realm of possibility). So in the Red Sox eyes, if they believe Castillo is a 2-3 win player, while Lester is a 4-5 win player, all they have to do is find a 2-3 win starting pitcher on the FA market who they can sign for $12 M a year. And then, they improve 2 spots on their team, for the price of one.

      • jacks81x 11 months ago

        The problem is a lot of 2-3 WAR players that come to the Red Sox become 0-1 WAR players. Makes sense on paper, but it’s just impossible to predict how a free agent will adapt to a new team, especially in a town like Boston where your every move is scrutinized.

        • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

          Which recent 2-3 WAR players have come to Boston and became 0-1 WAR players? In the last year, they’ve had Napoli (a career 2.6 WAR player, on average) come in and average 3.6 WAR. Victorino (averaged 3.5 WAR) has averaged 3.1 WAR (and that’s with an almost completely lost season). Stephen Drew (a career 2 WAR player per year) gave you 3.3 WAR in 150 games. Jonny Gomes (averaged 0.5 WAR for his career) gave you 0.7 WAR over the last season and a half.
          You could argue Peavy, Pierzynski, and Dempter have been below average – but even then, they were all slightly above replacement when signed (or in AJ’s case – a 37 year old catcher on a 1 year deal).

          • NOLASoxFan 11 months ago

            The use of actual numbers here makes me smile.

          • jacks81x 11 months ago

            John Lackey from 2005-2009 average WAR was 3.84 with the Angels. With the Red Sox from 2010-2014, his average WAR was 0.875.

            Carl Crawford average WAR was 4.0 from 2002-2010 with the Rays. With the Sox in 2011-2012, WAR = 0.2.

            Those are two obvious ones. Others not quite as recent ones that I can think of were Julio Lugo, Edgar Renteria, and J.D. Drew.

            Maybe I’m being overly critical, but I’m just tired of the Red Sox management letting their best players go, especially with someone like Lester who is not only beloved and a great leader in the clubhouse, but the fact that he was willing to sign long term with them 2 years ago for much less than what he could get in FA and the Red Sox just sat on their hands.

          • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

            Lackey’s BoSox career – solid first year (1.8 WAR), awful 2nd year (-1.9 WAR), hurt the 3rd year, good 4th year (3.9 WAR), solid 5th year (1.3 WAR in 2/3 season). To me, that looks like a good player who got hurt in his second year, tried to pitch through it and couldn’t. Hardly a case of a guy failing because of the scrutiny he gets in Boston (which was your original argument).

            As far as Crawford goes, the Red Sox paid him after a career year. He was a speed threat that hasn’t had speed. Again, another case of a player getting hurt, too. And he’s moved to LA and still hasn’t seen near the level of production he had in Tampa – so it’s hard to say that it was a “Boston” thing (other than him saying that’s why – but what player really wants to admit that they’re just getting older/declining).

            You are being overly critical. The Sox re-signed Ortiz when everyone thought he was done. That’s worked out pretty well for them. They also locked up Pedroia to a nice long, team friendly contract (he’s signed for $14 M per – or slightly above 2 WAR – and he’s a 4-5 WAR player right now). They haven’t shown a real hesitance to lock up position players – but they don’t want to be bogged down by pitchers to long term, expensive contracts.

  10. LittleOtterPaws 11 months ago

    Question: Is it this year plus 6 years or the remainder of this year plus 5? If 5 then is that the prorated amount or the total for 5 1/8th years of control?

  11. Mike1L 11 months ago

    Good signing, but what’s their outfield look like next year?

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      Crowded. Allen Craig, Castillo, Cespedes, Victorino, Nava, Holt, Betts, Bradley, all in the mix. Someone is clearly getting moved. Perhaps several someones. Both Cespedes and Victorino will be playing on the last year of their deals. And Craig is better suited to first base. It looks like Holt will probably actually be fulfilling a utility role next year.

      • I think Nava is probably gone by the end of the month.

        • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

          I wouldn’t be surprised. They may just have Holt play third next year. We’re starting to get a bit too righthanded for my tastes. That side of the infield is still a mess that needs sorting out. I’d sign a veteran to play short (anyone but Drew-Lowrie maybe) and stick Bogaerts back in Pawtucket next season. I think this also leaves Betts and Bradley in Pawtucket, which is fine by me. Neither of them is completely ready to have a starting role on a ML club. Unless Betts is going to Philly for Hamels.

          • Mike1L 11 months ago

            I wouldn’t be shock if Drew ends up back with either the Red Sox or the Yankees. He’s got to do something to prove he can still play.

          • Yankees, maybe. He’s done with the Sox.

          • Mike1L 11 months ago

            I never thought Drew was as good as he was touted to be, but this year is really shocking. Or, maybe not, and last year was the outlier.

          • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

            No way the Red Sox resign Drew. He simply cannot hit, and if you won’t play JBJ because he can’t hit, no argument can be made for Drew. Particularly at 10 million a year or whatever overpay Boras will want.

      • Karkat 11 months ago

        Holt probably moves back to third because Middlebrooks continues to be useless.

        • MB923 11 months ago

          Heck if I was a Red Sox fan, I’d take Youk back at 3B over Middlebrooks.

          • Karkat 11 months ago

            I’d take a cardboard cutout of Youkilis. He’d probably strike out less than Middlebrooks.

        • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

          He got the only hit last night. Although that may be the only hit he has had this season.

        • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

          I think they’ll probably sign someone. I doubt Holt will play as much next year as he did this year.

  12. Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

    Great can he play third base?

  13. Cabro Epico 11 months ago

    Now they can trade Cespedes back to Oakland

  14. SierraM363 11 months ago

    7 year 72 million is a better deal than the 6 year number. Hope that is true.

    I love the idea of us going after these Cuban players but I wish we had been more aggressive with Abreu.

    Hope the added power he showed in those workouts translate to the MLB.

    • Mr Pike 11 months ago

      This year is one of those seven years. There is negligible difference since you won’t get much out of him in 2014.

  15. WrigleyTerror37 11 months ago

    Theo building a team out of SS
    Ben building a team out of OF
    Lets see which one works better

    • Karkat 11 months ago

      Well you get to have three outfielders, but only one shortstop.

      • Eric 11 months ago

        Generally shortstops are very athletic, so they can transition to another infield or outfield spot.

      • tune-in for baseball 11 months ago

        you could have more if you always played the shift

      • Ralph Esposito 11 months ago

        Also shortstops that lead their league in errors, not so good.

    • Ralph Esposito 11 months ago

      Considering that both teams are in last place, perhaps they should try a different position. You might want to give pitching a whirl.

  16. YankeeFan™ 11 months ago

    I knew boston was gonna sign him I said it from the beginning.

  17. Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

    Allen Craig and Will Middlebrooks to the Mets for Daniel Murphy? Is Shane Victorino still on the DL? If not, would the As or the Tigers take a chance on him? Both seem to be lacking offense since trading Yoenis Cespedes and Austin Jackson respectively. If healthy, he would be a productive player for a contender.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 11 months ago

      Why would Boston trade for Daniel Murphy with Pedroia under contract for 7 more years?

      • I would make that trade if I were Boston. Why would the Mets do it though? Terrible deal for them.

        • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

          It would be a better deal for the Mets to trade Wright for Cespedes and whatever else they would need to get to balance that deal, but I think that the Red Sox would probably want the two Cuban players to play with each other for at least one year with the hope that Cespedes helps Castillo make the adjustment to MLB.

          I think that Allen Craig’s upside plus the ability to platoon Middlebrooks with Lucas Duda and Murphy’s defensive limitations for the Mets make this a fair deal. Would a throw-in like Daniel Nava make the deal better for the Mets or would they need to get prospects with more upside potential?

          • Just no to the Wright/Cespedes proposal. The Sox don’t want Wright and the Mets can’t trade their star without a big haul that they won’t get.

            Craig and Middlebrooks aren’t valuable players. Their upside doesn’t change the fact that Murphy actually has value right now. Nava doesn’t really add much since this deal has no centerpiece. Problem is that the Sox wouldn’t add pieces to get a guy who doesn’t play 3B.

      • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

        Murphy is most likely a much better 3B than 2B. He just can’t play 3B on the Mets.

        • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

          Most likely? He’s played 28 games there over his career in 2011 and had a .933 fielding percentage. That isn’t better than anyone most likely.

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      Victorino is out for the season. And why would the Mets want Craig and Middlebrooks who have been very very bad this year? The same reason the Red Sox would want another Second Baseman I guess.

      • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

        If anyone saw Daniel Murphy’s Bad News Bearsesque performance at 2B this week, they would know that he is not a second baseman. His original position was 3B, but he will never play that position on the Mets as long as David Wright is there. He could, however, play 3B for the Red Sox, Craig could play LF for the Mets, and at worst, Middlebrooks could be a good platoon partner for Lucas Duda at 1B. How likely is it that the Mets are going to be able to get someone with as much upside as Craig to play LF for them next year. He is far less expensive and far more controllable than any of the other options that will be out there for them next season. I think that this would be a good deal for both teams, which is why I hope that they don’t make it.

  18. FrankRoo 11 months ago

    No wonder the Cubs fell out of this, and thank god they did. I’d much rather see that money allocated to some veteran arms.

    • frogbogg 11 months ago

      Good idea. Theo still has to pay Edwin Jackson $22M.

      • FrankRoo 11 months ago

        That sentiment could be said about any free agent signing that hasn’t worked out. At the time Jackson looked like a solid innings eater and worth the contract he obtained. Right now Castillo seems like a guy who could maybe put up >2.0 WAR, he has no track record of doing so though. Jackson had a history of providing that value or more.

  19. bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

    Tigers should try to get Nava now to face RHP only.

  20. ghaf22 11 months ago

    I think this is a pretty fair deal for the Sox. Considering some scouts compared him to a Brett Gardner who got 50M+ for 4 years if I’m not mistaken, and Castillo is only 27 and will most likely have more power and overall more valuable. They probably also see what they missed out on with Abreu and don’t want to miss out again. I also don’t think you can compare this deal to not signing Lester, as they are 2 different situations with much different risks/rewards.

    • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

      Brent Gardner’s fWAR is 3.4 so far this year. That is 7th in the American League for outfielders…. better than Ellsbury.

      Gardner is a bargain.

      • ghaf22 11 months ago

        Gardner was a great bargain for the yanks for sure, and if Castillo ends up being as good or better, this turns out to be just as great deal for the Sox if not better. Also at a fraction of the price the yanks paid for ellsbury, its looking even better.

      • yclept 11 months ago

        One of the most under appreciated players in baseball, even by his own team who decided to add another CF to the team when they had one of the best in baseball sitting on their own roster.

        I would hesitate if I were a reporter or scout saying that an unknown player is on a Brett Gardner level.

    • PlayBoyBuddy Rose 11 months ago

      you can only hope he will be as good as Gardner…

      • Ralph Esposito 11 months ago

        He will not be as good as Gardner. Think more like present day Rusty Kuntz with more speed and no knowledge of the English language. Oh, and making 1,000,000 times more.

  21. beaujest 11 months ago

    Put him on the field,beats watching one hit losses !

  22. bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

    I see lots of math in this comment thread in comparing Lester to Castillo in terms of the value of their contracts to performance, age, etc.

    The problem is that the Red Sox lost a cornerstone player who was brought up through the system, won 2 Championships, wanted to stay and was willing to give a hometown discount.

    As I baseball fan, I do not like see Lester pushed out the door by one of the richest teams in the game.

    I suppose Red Sox management expect the pink hat Neil Diamond fans at Fenway to just root for the jersey.

    • mattdecap 11 months ago

      I don’t think this signing has much impact on how hard the Sox will go after Lester in the offseason, which was their plan all along.

      • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

        My understanding is the Red Sox will NOT sign Lester if he gets near Scherzer level ($160MM+).

        It is very rare for a team to trade away a player and then sign him again in the offseason.

        We shall see.

        • mattdecap 11 months ago

          That might be true, but my point is that was going to be the case regardless of this signing. It’s not like they picked Castillo over Lester.

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      I don’t think the Red Sox were ever going to sign Lester for 5+ years, $100+. It’s just not how they seem to handle pitchers. I think while it may upset some fans, a lot of their fan base probably knows that they don’t like to sign 30 year old pitchers to long, expensive contracts.
      If the Red Sox win a WS in the life of Castillo’s contract – and he has anything to do with getting him there – I’m sure the fans won’t have a problem with letting Lester go.

  23. Fresh 11 months ago

    This is freakin awesome for Boston!!! Cheap deal for a talent like this and control for 6+ years!!! I’ll take that anyday! Now they can move guys like JBj, Betts, Middlebrooks, Nava, and Victorino in a couple package deals and get some alf decent returns. Especially if they throw in another top prospect in the deals. This also allows Holt to go to his actual position at 3rd base and not move around every day. Cespedes, Castillo, and Craig in the outfield and take your pick for a 4th outfielder and move the rest. Love what this deal does and great to see the Sox spending some money again. We were becoming a small market team by choice and this shows we’re going to spend all that money we’ve saved. This is also a pretty damn cheap deal by today’s standards. Yankees would have given him 100+ million just because that’s their protocol to overspend. Well done Cherington

    • MB923 11 months ago

      “Now they can move guys like JBj, Betts, Middlebrooks,’

      But….but….I thought they were all future all stars?

      “Yankees would have given him 100+ million just because that’s their protocol to overspend”

      Then why didn’t they? Yankees didn’t think highly of him as do many other scouts who are calling him a 4th OFer or at best a Rajaj Davis. And as if the Red Sox don’t overspend at times themselves?

      • frogbogg 11 months ago

        “Then why didn’t they?”

        Because he hasn’t played in Boston yet and still has his best years to come. Right, Jacoby?

    • Lloyd III 11 months ago

      Holt’s OPS is good enough for a bench spot on the Red Sox in the future. 3B is one of the positions that normally requires a power bat to fill.

      I foresee JBJ and Holt being part of a package for a SP in the off season.

    • yclept 11 months ago

      Ummmm..if the Yankees put $100M in front of him, he would have been on the first plane to NY. Yankees didn’t even offer him what the Red Sox did…this is no coup for Cherington…this is the Red Sox doing what the Yankees do, yet their fans refuse to admit to it.

  24. disadvantage 11 months ago

    As a Giants fan, if the Giants had signed him: WOW! Great move by the Giants! He’s going to be a force in the lineup, possibly even as early as this year. His contract is going to look like a bargain. What an exciting young player!

    As a Giants fan, since the Giants didn’t sign him: You know, there’s a lot of risk involved with a player that might end up being a bust. And for $72 millilon. What were the Red Sox thinking! I think we really dodged a bullet with this one.

    • Karkat 11 months ago

      This is the most honest comment on the history of the internet

  25. Fresh 11 months ago

    To the people bringing Lester into this…stop! They are completely different. Besides one is a young and athletic outfielder and the other is a 30 year old pitcher their market is totally different. The plan is apparently to “aggressively” go after Lester anyways. But 72 million for over 6 years of control is so so cheap these days for a talent like this. Lester being an ace pitcher is a whole different ball game and I hope to see Boston sign him but they’d never get Lester anywhere a tiny deal like this. Boston has cut their payroll so much it’s not even funny. This will basically just be Dempster’s dead money that they are paying him after this year. Actually less than that even! What a sweet sweet deal for Boston and it does a lot for Holt letting him settle into his usual 3rd base and they now have a bunch of guys they can trade

    • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

      The philosophy is my point.

      The Philosophy: No loyalty. Use analytics to get wins, PERIOD. No contracts for over 30 year olds.

      Fans: Root for the stadium, the jersey, wear pink hats and sing Neil Diamond and continue to pay $70/ticket for 100 year old seats with leg room for a 10 year old directly behind a pole.

      Red Sox will prove me wrong if they sign Lester. I don’t think they will.

      • mattdecap 11 months ago

        Why does rooting for the team over a single player make you a “pink hat?” Ask any Boston fan if they would rather have Nomar or a parade in 2005. I bet I could tell you the answer.

      • Karkat 11 months ago

        Hey the seats behind the poles are only like $55!

  26. John Finn Jr 11 months ago

    LF Craig (Or maybe Stanton !), CF Castillo, and RF Cespedes. I think I see the sin rising in the horizon. Now, what do we do with the overflow ? I say we get rid of Nava if he will not sign a minor league contract; I say we keep Bradley down in Pawtucket to gain some confidence; I say we keep Betts; We are probably going to have to keep Victorino until the end of 2015 when his contract runs out. Of course if we do get Stanton, most likely people like Bradley and Betts will be looking for beachfront property in Florida.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 11 months ago

      The “sin rising on the horizon” is the constant mention of trading for Stanton. The Marlins, who have a better record than the Red Sox, aren’t trading their star!

      • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

        Any time I see someone say “trade for Stanton” in a post, I just stop reading. It’s not impossible that he’ll be moved – but almost surely won’t happen until his final season (if they decide that can’t lock him up to a rate Loria deems “acceptable”).

        • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

          There is literally nothing that brings me more irrational rage than other Sox fans who mention the name Stanton.

      • Ray Ray 11 months ago

        The Red Sox trading for Stanton is going to be the 2014 version of the Cardinals trading for Troy Tulowitzki last season on this site. One side will be “selling a Lamborghini” and the other side will be “buying a used car” and none of it will be even close to accurate. It was annoying last year and will be annoying again this year.

      • John Finn Jr 11 months ago

        Have a good one ! 😀

  27. Ace2095 11 months ago

    I could see the Red Sox exploring trades for Victorino and Betts/Bradley in the offseason for other areas that they are lacking in. This team has the potential to really turn it around if everything goes their way and the clubhouse personalities mesh well in 2015.

    • stl_cards16 11 months ago

      If everything goes well, clubhouse personalities mesh well. Winning comes first no matter that you read in the newspaper.

    • Jim Johnson 11 months ago

      Victorino has one year left and Bradley has performed so poorly he was sent down and has the Red Sox apparently worrying about his long term projection. I don’t think either guy is going to have much value on the trade market, at least in return for something that is going to help Boston turn it around in 2015.

      • mjlowe 11 months ago

        They should move Victorino, and if they do it won’t be about getting value back, but freeing up the roster and part of the $13m they owe him.

  28. Lloyd III 11 months ago

    With this signing, the Red Sox are now out of the running for Stanton from the Fish. Which in turn, saves the Sox a lot of prospects in making that potential trade.

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      Although there was no actual running as the Marlins are going to try to resign Stanton in the offseason which means they are unlikely to trade him until next offseason if at all.

      • Lloyd III 11 months ago

        The Marlins are almost as bad as the Astros in signing talent. Only if the amount of years and $$ are heavily in their favor.

        Stanton is Arb Eligible and that alone will price the Marlins out of his services this off season.

        • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

          Maybe, maybe not. If they want to compete, they’re going to try and resign him. It’s not like they aren’t getting at least 20 million from profitable teams.

    • NOLASoxFan 11 months ago

      Not at all. If Castillo can play, it becomes that much easier to deal other prospects to the Fish.

    • Butch779988 11 months ago

      not that Stanton is moving until 2016, but puts them in better position she/if he does with the surplus, although some of it will be moved for Hamels.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

      There was a semi-strange proposal in an article a while back that suggested if Stanton was too expensive for the Marlins that perhaps Cespedes might be considered an alternative. So in other words, Cespedes plus cash plus prospects for Stanton. Of course it looks less strange and more complicated adding in a third team.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is a real trade. In fact I’ll admit it sounds like a video game trade. But Cherrington does seem to pull off the unexpected. All I’m saying is if Stanton goes officially on the block, don’t be surprised if the Red Sox bid.

      • cjr45 11 months ago

        Since Cespedes only has one more year on his contract I would call it a video game trade.

        • pitchthek 11 months ago

          I think the concept behind it was that signing Cespedes to an extension as their “power OF” bat would be a lot cheaper for the Marlins than Stanton.

      • vtadave 11 months ago

        Would have to be something like Cespedes, Bogaerts, and Owens to get the conversation started I’d imagine. Probably Betts too.

    • mjlowe 11 months ago

      How do you figure? Castillo is a CF, Stanton is several classes above him as a hitter and not a CF. Allen Craig will likely be their 1B going forward, there’s still room for Stanton if they want him, and they certainly have the pieces to make such a deal.

  29. Redsoxn8tion 11 months ago

    Nice move Cherrington!! Keep it up

  30. bmoneyy20 11 months ago

    Good deal/ Bad deal time will tell, but this guy owes Puig /Abreu a dinner at least. Behind one door is a car; behind the others, goats

  31. Matt Talbert 11 months ago

    Do you think Boston would do the unthinkable and deal Peds while he still holds some value. He’s not an elite player anymore. I’m sure a team needing a 2b and some veteran leadership might take a chance and offer up a couple of mid-tier prospects for him.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

      Pedroia is a major leader for the team, holds the best UZR of second basemen, and has a decent contract.

      The Sox only trade him for a ridiculous offer.

      • Trock 11 months ago

        I don’t think they would ever trade him. To me he is the Jeter of Boston. Just my opinion though, you never know in the baseball world who would be traded!

        • start_wearing_purple
          start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

          Cherington has shown an almost ruthless determination to make a winning team. If he felt he had the right deal with Pedroia, I wouldn’t bet against him pulling the trigger. That said, I still think it would be a trade ridiculously favoring the Sox.

          • mjlowe 11 months ago

            This is true for the most part, but that ruthless determination has also meant not locking up people long past 30, even homegrowns, and yet look how long they signed Pedroia for. He’s the exception.

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      Mid-tier prospects for the best defensive 2b in the majors and one of the faces of the franchise? Oh absolutely that sounds like a plan.

    • evan 11 months ago

      pedroia has a limited no-trade clause so it would have to be the right team

  32. Butch779988 11 months ago

    This paves the way for Cole Hamels to Boston. Betts and 3 others going.

    • Trock 11 months ago

      Do you think Betts, Bradley Jr, Middlebrooks, and a pitching prospect get it done? I honestly see Boston planning on locking up Cespedes. However, if they cant for some reason, they trade 2 of their promising OF

      • Zac 11 months ago

        No at this point JBJ and WMB have no value. It would require Betts, Owens, and 1 or 2 additional middle to high end Prospects. I would like the sox to hold onto Swihart.

      • mjlowe 11 months ago

        Cespedes has to prove worth locking up first, the arm and the power are certainly there, but his OBP since the start of 2013 is troubling at best.

    • mjlowe 11 months ago

      Betts in a trade package for a relatively short contract that could turn into a nightmare in a year or two? No thanks. Throw all the money at Lester instead, at least then you know you have a pitcher who can perform here and you’re not giving up players to get him. If we’re talking about trading for someone young like Stanton, by all means package Betts in there.

  33. $2509879 11 months ago

    Brett Gardner IS a “more powerful version of Brett Gardner!”

  34. Ralph Esposito 11 months ago

    And the winner in the Rusney Castillo sweepstakes is… The 29 other major league teams outside of Boston.

  35. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 11 months ago

    Not sure what to make of this yet. Happy their getting a young power bat, but I’m always wary of imports. It does suggest that the Sox will begin making some pretty serious deals during the winter.

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      I think that’s the only thing we can take out of this thus far. There are many more deals to be made.

  36. Guest 11 months ago
  37. Ned L 11 months ago

    They must have figured that since they couldn’t land Gordon Beckham, this was the next best path to take.

  38. Troy 11 months ago

    As a Tigers fan I really wanted to upgrade CF. But for that price I am glad we didnt sign him.

    • tune-in for baseball 11 months ago

      I agree. That a lot of money. At 5/ $50 mill its an expensive gamble but for 6/$72 you can hopefully get a younger OF with a MLB track record. Maybe even a few $$ left over for a good RP

    • mjlowe 11 months ago

      Yes, because Ilitch will be too busy paying Verlander and Cabrera long past their sell-by dates.

  39. Trock 11 months ago

    No one take this the wrong way, but it seems to me that if you play outside of the US and show signs of greatness, it is a better deal then playing in the US. You are starting to see more guys like Puig, Cespedes, Tanaka, etc who are getting massive contracts without playing a game in the MLB vs guys in the minors (who can make decent money through arbitration).

    • Phillyfan425 11 months ago

      Partially true. But if you look at it from the perspective of the guys you listed (Puig, Cespedes, Tanaka), you could say most of these guys played their minor/pre-arb years in the other countries (based on their ages). So really, when they sign these guys, they are paying them for their arbitration/first few FA years. The exception is Puig – who was 21 when signed. And you could argue that if he was drafted at 18, and in the majors by 21, they’d still have to pay for 1 of his FA seasons (so if he would have made the minimum at 21, 22, and 23 to go with arbitration at 24, 25, and 26). It probably works out that he’d make about the same. About $1.5 M in pre-arb, let’s go low in arbitration and say he makes $5 M, $7.5 M, and $10 M ($22.5 M total), and $15 M in the first FA year (again, probably a little low) – that would total out to $39 M. If he would have been a top talent in a draft – a top 10 pick – he would have gotten about a $3 M signing bonus. All in all, his money would be about the same.

  40. Ed Weeland 11 months ago

    with these stupid contracts that are insane except for the player and agent are just going to turn more people off to the game of baseball.Pretty soon a ticket will cost 100.00 and that Beer that you buy at the store will be so overpriced in addition to the crazy cable fees.

    • Lloyd III 11 months ago

      I love listening to baseball games on the radio. Old time style.

    • Elsalvaje 11 months ago

      Anyways we won’t get that money, if they don’t spend it in players they will spend it in another big crib, anyways is their money and they made it so they can do whatever they want. For me is a good deal

  41. melvin brookes 11 months ago

    Bill James, who I have been reading since he started breathing, now works for the Red Sox, and probably now has 25 interns from Harvard and MIT who major in physics and computer science doing all his stat work for him. If they signed this guy, it’s because they ran 100,000 Monte Carlo simulations which predicted that his future major league performance would be much greater than league average. Everything the Red Sox do is based and predicated upon quantitative analysis. This is called SCIENCE, people. Bill James told us what? years ago? give me a long enough stick and I will move the moon. Ok, that was Archimedes. But since James arrived in Boston, three World Series titles in ten years, and tickets are like a thousand dollars a piece. back when I live in Beantown, tickets were five bucks and the stadium was empty even when the team was good. Oh, and they didn’t sign african american ball players. Because they were black. or they had a quota of two. the whitest team in baseball is now the best team and David Ortiz is going to the HOF….

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      Bill James said Will Middlebrooks would hit 30 hrs this season and not to mention what he said about JBJ and Bogaerts. I’d be surprised if they didn’t take away all his Harvard and MIT grads and move his office to the third floor broom closet after that.

    • Red_Line_9 11 months ago

      So, you’re basically saying you have a great team that you can no longer afford to watch live. That’s quite a bargain for success. I’m often taken aback why some in mlb fan bases gleam with pride over their team’s profits… which are generated from their own pockets through purchases and taxes

    • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

      FYI.. the Red Sox are in last place and they were in last place two years ago.

      I heard Billy Beane speak at a conference recently. He talked about his minimal budget STILL for analytics… and the massive budget for Yankees.

      If I am to assume that 25 interns are hired by the Red Sox and they have a massive department like the Yankees, why didn’t they sign Cespedes originally? What about Puig? How did they miss getting Nelson Cruz last year?

      … And finally, why can’t they beat Beane and the As (in terms of number of wins) every single year with double or in some years triple the payroll?

  42. Red_Line_9 11 months ago

    About time for an International Draft.

    • nhsoxfan 11 months ago

      That’s one of the main reasons these signing keep going up in $$ There will only be so many more years till there is a draft.

  43. Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

    Considering Xander Bogaerts’ struggles this season, would the Red Sox consider trading him, Mookie Betts, Allen Craig, and Will Middlebrooks for David Wright and Ruben Tejada this offseason, leaving themselves with a starting outfield next season of Castillo, Cespedes, and Victorino with Jackie Bradley Jr. and Daniel Nava as their 4th and 5th outfielders and an infield of Napoli, Pedroia, Tejada, and Wright?

    The Mets in turn could platoon Lucas Duda and Middlebrooks at 1B, play Betts and Bogaerts at 2B and SS, and move Daniel Murphy to 3B. If Middlebrooks is a better defensive 3B than Murphy, he could play 3B against lefties with Murphy playing 1B. Craig would join Granderson and Legares in the Mets outfield.

    • Matt_P102 11 months ago

      That’s an awful deal for the Red Sox.

      • Hoosierdaddy92 11 months ago

        Agreed, anyways highly doubtful the Mets move Wright anyway as despite his disappointing season, he’s still their face of the franchise and paid way too much money. And Tejada can’t be that appealing to the Red Sox. Maybe a 1-1 swap of one of the Red Sox top position player prospects for one of the Mets top pitching prospects, but this deal as currently proposed, wouldn’t work on either side. Red Sox need pitching, not offense

        • Matt_P102 11 months ago

          If I were the Red Sox I’d want an “established” pitcher like Wheeler. Probably prefer someone with a better track record but the Mets don’t have that. Sox have a lot of good pitching prospects and probably want someone with experience.

    • Lloyd III 11 months ago

      The Mets will not be platooning Duda at 1B. He is their 1B. He is having a career year, with the chance for 30 HRs and .840+ OPS.

    • mjlowe 11 months ago

      Boagerts has struggled, but only after showing he can do the opposite as well, they’re not trading him, particularly when his value would be at its lowest.

      Middlebrooks has no place as a starting major leaguer, anywhere.

      • Bertin Lefkovic 11 months ago

        Not sure if that is true. Middlebrooks could benefit from a change in scenery. He clearly should not be the centerpiece of any deal, but I think that he could still be a decent sweetener.

        You’re probably right about Bogaerts, but that may not necessarily be the best strategyfor the Red Sox. They surely cannot package him and others for Hamels or Stanton this offseason, but they could probably get Wright and that could wind up being very good for them.

        One more bad year for Bogaerts and he will probably have about as much value as JBJ has right now.

  44. JacobyWanKenobi 11 months ago

    Happy that NY didnt sign him, having 3 Brett Gardners wouldnt have been rad.

    • Lloyd III 11 months ago

      Yes, it will be nice to see Prado roaming RF again next year. lol

  45. AVY 11 months ago

    It’s going to be an interesting off season for the Sox. Too many assets right now. Hope they flip them for the right pieces.

  46. Eric Droegemeier 11 months ago

    Too much money for too long. The guy is no Puig or Abreu

    • Lloyd III 11 months ago

      Famous last words, especially when Rusney has not taken a swing in Fenway yet.

    • homer
      psabella 11 months ago

      Mike Trout was not Mike Trout until he was drafted else he would have gone first.

  47. citizen 11 months ago

    that’s an awful lot of money for someone who has not even played a day in the majors let alone the minor leagues.

    • homer
      psabella 11 months ago

      and that applies for every high school and college kid drafted in the first few rounds.

  48. Good sign for the offseason with Cherrington and his SP targets. He had been zeroing in on Castillo for months, and got him.

  49. FrankRoo 11 months ago

    Has a deal like this been done before, where “paying” a guy an extra year lowered the annual value of the contract to avoid luxury tax? I’m not sure I like that as a precedent.

    • homer
      psabella 11 months ago

      yes it has been. Beltre signed with the red sox for 9m with a 5 mil player option the next year and 1 mil buyout reducing the aav from 9 to 7 mil. I am sure there are other examples. I do not see why the precedent is a concern to you.

      • FrankRoo 11 months ago

        Late responding, but my concern would be if that one month of pay counted as a full year’s salary when calculating the luxury tax. In reality the Red Sox are paying him for 6.1 seasons and not 7. But is it 72.5M/7 or 6.1.

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      It’s not to avoid the luxury tax. That one of the side benefits sure, but the Red Sox also want to see the player this year, and I can’t see paying him more than $500,000 for the last month of the season. I doubt this will set the precedent of guys waiting until the last month of the season to sign.

  50. 108 stitches 11 months ago

    Lots of comments here that vary widely. I think the Red Sox are taking an interesting and logical approach; collecting a variety of potentially valuable commodities and letting things shake out as they may. They want to contend next year and are doing their best to facilitate such a scenario. The price for Cuban free agents is escalating due to the recent successes of Cespedes, Puig, Abreu. Even Guerrero was raking in the PCL Before Miguel Olivo “went all Mike Tyson” on his face. To me this is a good signing regardless of what Rusney Castillo eventually becomes or does not become. This is EXACTLY how I want them to use their resources. It’s smart business and good baseball decision making to collect commodities.

    • mantistoboggan47 11 months ago

      I think it is a good signing as well. He will be a decent trade chip during the annual unloading of players.

      • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

        Twice in the past 15 years. Not really the definition of annual that I have grown accustomed to.

  51. SeanE 11 months ago

    Castillo,Bradley,Swithart,Betts,Cespedes,and even Boegarts. Along with the pitching of

    Owens,Escobar,Ranaundo,Rodriguez,Barnes,and Ball.

    Great things to come

    • mantistoboggan47 11 months ago

      Really?

    • Seamaholic 11 months ago

      Lots of teams have lists like that. Prospects don’t work out, quite often. You’re buying the kool-aid! They may get lucky with free agents again like they did last year, but more likely the magic pixie dust will fall on another team this time.

  52. Jimmy Willy 11 months ago

    There goes the, “we don’t sign players for more than 4 yrs”, nonsense. Didn’t take long.

    • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

      We don’t sign players over 30 for more than 4 years. There I fixed it for you.

      • stl_cards16 11 months ago

        The way the Red Sox appear to be loading up for next season, I would expect that to change in a few months. They have to go after some top pitching this winter.

        • Victoria Roberts 11 months ago

          It may, it may not. I still think they’re more likely to trade for Hamels than resign Lester. A 6 or 7 year deal for a 30 year old pitcher is just bad business.

  53. beeee_c 11 months ago

    Great acquisition for money only. Love that we’re stockpiling. How about this in the offseason: sign Lester and Scherzer, trade for Hamels. Also trade for/sign someone else that can help the offense. Is getting all three of those pitchers a pipe dream?

    • stl_cards16 11 months ago

      It would seem pretty unrealistic to see the Sox take on $400MM in pitching contracts, so I’d say yes.

  54. bigbadjohnny 11 months ago

    This will be one of the biggest “Busts” in Cuban free agency.

  55. meep 11 months ago

    so white sox got a steal in their deal and the red soxs might of over paid just a little. he has good stuff but it not big time stuff. if he being compare to Brett Gardner 72 mill might be a over pay

    • BucknerRulz86 11 months ago

      Brett Gardner with more power, maybe worth it since Gardner signed 4 yrs $52M.

      • meep 11 months ago

        still a risk when his best tool speed. if he show power then the deal look better but as of right now. red soxs look like a team that might of over paid

        • BucknerRulz86 11 months ago

          Well considering Ellsbury’s best tool was speed as well, this deal being 1/2 the cost of Ellsbury could be the win. Compared to what’s available in FA and current struggles of Bradley and Betts, this was a good signing.

  56. TigerFan1968 11 months ago

    I hope to live long enough so that the word Viral, Selfie, and WAR as applied to baseball all disappear.

  57. Seamaholic 11 months ago

    Things not looking good for Betts and Bradley, Jr … wonder what they’re going to do with them? Swihart too, since they appear to have found their C of the future in Vazquez. Wonder if they’ll trade them piecemeal or package everyone together to get a Tulo or a Hamels?

    • LittleOtterPaws 11 months ago

      Not a chance that Vazquez has been declared the “C of the future” his bat has surprised some, but he doesn’t have as high a ceiling as Swihart.

      • Seamaholic 11 months ago

        Prospect reports on Swihart say he’s most likely an IF in the majors. Defensive C’s as good as Vazquez are worth their weight in gold. My opinion anyways.

        • LittleOtterPaws 11 months ago

          Swihart has made some huge steps in his handling of the catchers position. Vazquez has always profiled as a fringe starter/defensive replacement, with Swihart being an all-star.

          Now, its not outside the realm of possibility for Swihart to be dealt and the sox brass decides on committing to Vazquez, but I do not think that situation is readily apparent.

          • Seamaholic 11 months ago

            Swihart is more talented, no doubt, especially with the bat. But he’s so small for a C. Seems like you’re just asking for him to wear down over 162, sacrificing his all-star level bat.

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