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.


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275 Comments on "Red Sox Sign Rusney Castillo"


bobbleheadguru
11 months 7 days 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?

11 months 7 days ago

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 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

11 months 7 days ago

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

jacks81x
11 months 7 days 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 7 days ago

So was Sabathia.

jacks81x
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

MB923
11 months 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

MB923
11 months 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

Ishkabibble
11 months 7 days ago

Obviously, huh?

Better
11 months 7 days ago

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

Phillyfan425
11 months 7 days 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).

11 months 7 days ago

Agreed.

bobbleheadguru
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

bobbleheadguru
11 months 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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.

11 months 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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

Better
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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

Better
11 months 1 day ago

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

stl_cards16
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 6 days 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 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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 7 days 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 7 days 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 6 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

Miami loves Cuban players

Bruinsfan94
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

I like this deal better than the Ellsbury deal…

Ralph Esposito
11 months 7 days ago

U stand corrected. Tied for the worst.

BucknerRulz86
11 months 6 days ago

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

Better
11 months 7 days 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 6 days 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.

Christopher A. Otto
11 months 7 days ago

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

Phillyfan425
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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.

Phillyfan425
11 months 7 days 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.

MB923
11 months 7 days ago

Wow.

Sung Woo Chung
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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.

LittleOtterPaws
11 months 7 days ago

Boston is overdue for a riot

11 months 7 days ago

That wouldn’t be very in line with Boston Strong.

Better
11 months 7 days ago

Not if they trade for Stanton

11 months 6 days ago

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

MilkMeMore
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

Bertin Lefkovic
11 months 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 6 days 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 7 days ago

That’s it?
– N. Colletti

11 months 7 days ago

This is great. I love this deal.

Karkat
11 months 7 days ago

I just really hope he isn’t a flop

11 months 7 days ago

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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

I think they hated the person more than the contract.

11 months 7 days ago

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 6 days 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.

Zac
11 months 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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

Zac
11 months 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

One, yea. We don’t need two.

Zac
11 months 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

Victoria Roberts
11 months 7 days 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 6 days ago

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

Victoria Roberts
11 months 6 days 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 7 days 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 5 days 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 7 days ago

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

Zac
11 months 7 days 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 7 days ago

Shields is a completely legit option.

Bertin Lefkovic
11 months 6 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 4 days 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 3 days 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.

Scott
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

The use of actual numbers here makes me smile.

jacks81x
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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.

LittleOtterPaws
11 months 7 days 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?

Karkat
11 months 7 days ago

I’m curious about this as well

senior52
11 months 7 days ago

IT says through 2020. So that would be 6 years plus the rest of this year.

Mike1L
11 months 7 days ago

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

Victoria Roberts
11 months 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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

Victoria Roberts
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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

Mike1L
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

Victoria Roberts
11 months 7 days ago

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

MB923
11 months 7 days ago

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

Karkat
11 months 7 days ago

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

Victoria Roberts
11 months 7 days ago

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

Victoria Roberts
11 months 7 days ago

Great can he play third base?

Cabro Epico
11 months 7 days ago

Now they can trade Cespedes back to Oakland

Tony Matias
11 months 7 days ago

Seattle will take him.

SierraM363
11 months 7 days 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.

11 months 7 days ago

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

WrigleyTerror37
11 months 7 days ago

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

Karkat
11 months 7 days ago

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

Eric
11 months 7 days ago

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

tune-in for baseball
11 months 7 days ago

you could have more if you always played the shift

Ralph Esposito
11 months 6 days ago

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

Ralph Esposito
11 months 6 days ago

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

YankeeFan™
11 months 7 days ago

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

Bertin Lefkovic
11 months 7 days 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.

Rally Weimaraner
11 months 7 days ago

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

11 months 7 days ago

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

Bertin Lefkovic
11 months 7 days 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?

11 months 7 days ago

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 7 days ago

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

Victoria Roberts
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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.

FrankRoo
11 months 7 days 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 7 days ago

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

FrankRoo
11 months 6 days 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.

bobbleheadguru
11 months 7 days ago

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

ghaf22
11 months 7 days 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 7 days 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 7 days 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 6 days 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 7 days ago

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

Ralph Esposito
11 months 6 days 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.