Rusney Castillo Could Land Five Years, $50-60MM

The Red Sox, Giants and Tigers were said to be the front-runners for Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo as of yesterday evening. The outfielder’s rumored asking price continues to crawl upward as his decision reportedly inches closer. We’ll keep track of today’s Castillo rumors in this post…

  • ESPN’s Jayson Stark hears that the bidding for Castillo could cost $50-60MM over five years. Stark lists five of the six usual suspects as finalists, noting that the Red Sox, Tigers, Giants, Phillies and Yankees remain in the mix for Castillo.
  • The Phillies will take a shot at Castillo but aren’t likely to land him, multiple sources have told’s Todd Zolecki.

Earlier Updates

  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that at least four teams remain in the running for Castillo, with the Red Sox representing one of that group. The Tigers and Giants have a sense of urgency about their pursuit, as they plan to use Castillo to bolster their 2014 playoff hopes. In addition to those three clubs and previously mentioned teams such as the Phillies, Cubs and Yankees, Heyman lists the Mariners as a team with interest, though he cautions that it isn’t clear how involved they are at this stage of the talks.
  • Rob Bradford of reports that the Red Sox are one of multiple teams that have made a “strong bid” for Castillo. Those wondering what sort of role the presence of countryman and former teammate Yoenis Cespedes would have on Castillo will be interested to hear Cespedes’ comments that he hasn’t spoken to his former teammate anytime recently. However, Cespedes did offer high praise for Castillo, telling Bradford, “If he’s not a five-tool player, he’s at least a four-tool player. He’s very comparable to [Yasiel] Puig. Obviously a different height and size, but very similar qualities.” BoSox GM Ben Cherington confirmed that they’ve spoken to Castillo but offered no further comment. Bradford, too, hears that Castillo is expected to make a decision by week’s end.

39 Responses to Rusney Castillo Could Land Five Years, $50-60MM Leave a Reply

  1. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

    Puig comparison?
    I am thinking Coco Crisp
    Some are comparing Castillo to Puig a hulking 6’3″ 235 lb Linebacker type?
    I don’t know, man.

    • Steve Adams 11 months ago

      Cespedes specifically mentions that he’s referring to skill set, not body type. Plus it’s a comp from another player, not a scout. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

      • David Jaulus 11 months ago

        I don’t care about the comparisons. Bottom line Castillo would help the Giants both now and in the future considering our disturbing lack of outfield depth. Get it done Sabes!!!!

        • The_Artist_Formerly_OFIC 11 months ago

          why did you guys give up on Peguero if you don’t have outfield depth? Just because he was out of options?

          • Paul Michaels 11 months ago

            26 year old outfielder that still has only seen a few at bats in the majors and is blocked by other players. That’s why.

          • David Jaulus 11 months ago

            And he Had ZERO idea of the strike zone or how to make adjustments.

  2. Freddie Morales 11 months ago

    He sounds like a brett gardner or rajai davis type of player. very curious to see the red sox as players here. They have craig, cespedes, victorino all under contract next year plus betts, bradley, nava in OF. Jays, Phillies, A’s, Reds, Giants, Mets, Mariners, Pads all make ton of sense to me.

    • CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

      Well Victorino and Nava aren’t part of the plans beyond next year… and there’s a good chance that either Betts or Bradley are moved this offseason. Cespedes is a free agent after next season, and Craig’s value is at an all-time low.

      Basically, the Sox have a ton of depth but no definitive long term solutions. Their farm system is virtually bereft of OF talent and they have a ton of money to spend… so it’s not too surprising to see them making a run at Castillo (especially since he can play the IF to a certain degree)

  3. MaineSkin 11 months ago

    He’s not Puig, but an impact bat w/defensive versatility usually never hits the market at his price. $10-$12M a yr most teams should be interested. I think it comes down to where Rusney wants to play and that should be in a hitters park.

    • Especially if he wants a Cespedes type deal that allows him to become a FA early. Then he can get set for life and have the opportunity to make an even larger payday.

  4. bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

    Per @Lynn_Henning (Detroit News):
    “Have received authoritative word that Rusney Castillo, no matter who signs him, will NOT be available for post-season. Not enough time.”

    Does this change the equation?

  5. CharlieMurphy 11 months ago

    The Tigers are an interesting option. With Torii Hunter’s $14mil coming off the books they could just take that money and allocate it toward Castillo. Worst case scenario, he probably gives them about Hunter’s production (with less power and more speed).

    Cespede’s comments are also intriguing considering he has seen the guy play way more than any scout. Granted, there’s a possibility he’s just being generous toward his fellow countryman… but it sounds like they haven’t talked in while, and competitive athletes rarely heap unwarranted praise on each other. Puig is a better player than Cespedes… so why would Yoenis compare a lesser player to him?

  6. bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

    Possible Loophole even if he cannot get his work visa before Sept 1:

    1. Sign him to a contract before he has the work visa.

    2. Put him on the 40 man roster. He cannot just be put on the 25 man roster if he cannot play in a live game before Sept 1 and be eligible for the playoffs.

    3. Have him file the paperwork to get the work visa. It could take until 2nd week in Sept.

    4. Activate him and swap him out for a player on the DL.

    He would in theory be eligible for the post season.

    It will be interesting to see the legal “race against the clock” to get him in a game by August 31st. The Tigers are at the White Sox for a 1pm central time game on the 31st. Players may have to work very very slowly that day in case he just gets the paperwork done. Imagine him coming into pinch hit in the 9th inning just to get eligible!

    Or… What if there is a rain delay, he gets on the field in the first couple of innings, but then the game is rained out? That would be crazy.

    • isiah sanders 11 months ago

      He doesn’t have to play a game by September 1st. All a team has to do is put someone from the 40 man roster on the DL after September 1st and use him to replace that DL player. Tigers will have plenty of guys on the 40 man roster finishing the season on the DL.

      • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

        Exactly. That is what I wrote in the top part of my post. The bottom half is a bit more legitimate (no loophole).

    • frogbogg 11 months ago

      How do you hire someone who isn’t legal to work in the US? i.e. doesn’t have a Visa.

      • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

        It is done all the time with multi-national companies.

        Also interesting… what if the Tigers played across the river in Windsor, Ontario?… or if the Blue Jays were in contention for him?

        • frogbogg 11 months ago

          Of course it is done all the time. They get visas. Which, according to reports, won’t be approved before Sept. 1st.

  7. mking 11 months ago

    Would love to see the Tigers pick him up. With Dirks constantly having setbacks in rehab, losing Jackson, and Torii coming off the books at the end of the year (love Torii, but a re-signing would be outrageous), this looks to be a great option for a few years.

  8. Tigers absolutely make the most sense … whether or not they’re willing to spend the money (and weather or not Rusney want to play in a part-time cold-weather city) are the only questions. With Austin Jackson no gone, a CF is needed for now and in their future.

  9. MB923 11 months ago

    I wonder if the Yankees make a final big now with Beltran experiencing more elbow pain now (he got scratched today because of elbow pain, and I think his days in the OF for the rest of his career are close to done).

    • Tko11 11 months ago

      That DH spot will be pretty crowded next year.

      • MB923 11 months ago

        If 2 players (A-Rod and Beltran) means crowded, then I guess.

        • Tko11 11 months ago

          Tex could very well need that spot too if he can’t stay healthy.

          • MB923 11 months ago

            He will be at 1B when he’s healthy. This year he’s played 90 games, 86 of the 90 are at 1B.

          • northsfbay 11 months ago

            With the Yankees aging players, I see a big competition for DH.

          • MB923 11 months ago

            Might want to re-check the upcoming FA for them. Next year they will only have 2 position players over the age of 35. And they are the 2 I already mentioned.

          • SierraM363 11 months ago

            Or the DL

  10. scrand 11 months ago

    Kind of sad that my Tigers post season chances this year hinge on a player not even on their roster – otherwise, they and everyone else around knows that they are toast! Going into the season DD knew he had problems at short, bullpen and outfield…..heading into September the Tigers still have issues at short (masked by being the least of their worries); bullpen (revolving door of minor leaguers and former closers (including Nathan) who can’t get the job done); and an outfield made up by a career platoon player (Rajai), a AAAA quality player in Carrera; someone at the end of his career Torii – one time gold glover but no longer, and a quality reclamation project in JD (where would the Tiger’s be without him?) Boy do they need to sign Castillo ASAP

    • FrankRoo 11 months ago

      How much could Castillo theoretically help Detroit for one month? If he plays very well, what 0.5-1.0 extra wins? You are not signing a player for one month, you are signing them for 4.1-6.1 years at 10-12 mil/yr. If you believe he will provide at least that value over that period than by all means sign him, but don’t hinge your playoff hopes on it. He’d have to tear it up to have an impact like what you are describing and from everything that’s been said about him I just don’t see that immediate impact.

    • bobbleheadguru 11 months ago

      Every team has problems. If the season ended today, the Tigers would still be playing… They are still in it!

      I would rather have “3 aces and a king” (like the Tigers do) going into the Post Season v. a perfect outfield.

      And who knows, their Bullpen might be:
      Soria (Closer), Johnson/Chamberlain/AlAl (Setup), Hardy (Lefty), and Verlander (Lincecum 2012 role). Nathan might not even be on the playoff roster… and it could be a pretty good bullpen.

  11. I was very high on Puig, Cespedes and Abreu, however I don’t think much of Castillo. I’m guessing whoever signs him is going to regret it.

    • northsfbay 11 months ago

      Hindsight 20/20.

    • stl_cards16 11 months ago

      Could you let us know why you don’t think he’ll be good? Or is this just a guess?

      • The main difference between guys like Puig, Cespedes and Abreu vs. a guy like Castillo is that the former players dominated the Cuban league setting all sorts of records, and were considered elite talents at a very young age. Castillo however, while a good player, never really put up great numbers, also with a very poor K/BB ratio I question his plate discipline and think major league pitching will take advantage of this. I don’t think he will be able to hit for a decent average and doesn’t have the power like the other guys to make up for this. Also while he does have speed, I don’t think this will translate into a lot of stolen bases in the majors.

        I think what is happening here is that teams are overpaying for this guy because of the success of Puig, Abreu and Cespedes, however this guy isn’t the same. A better comparable is probably Leonys Martin with a bit more power, less speed and lower average.

  12. nhsoxfan 11 months ago

    If he signs with the Red Sox, John Lester returning will require a max aav type contract. Why would Lester want anything less from them when they go after an unknown player with 0 MLB games played instead of extending him.

  13. Jeff Miller 11 months ago

    If Castillo doesn’t choose the Phillies, fine. But if Amaro doesn’t make the highest offer, what is he doing to try and improve the team? The Phillies have an aging roster with too many bloated contracts, most of which are immovable. They’ve got very little in their farm system that is big league ready or close it. It’s very difficult to build through MLB free agency these days because most impact players don’t hit free agency and rare are the ones that do before they’re 30.

    Doubtful that Montgomery and ownership fire him, but hopefully they don’t give him an extension and just let his contract expire after 2015.

  14. cuban4ever 11 months ago

    I’m following with interest all rumors about Rusney Castillo. I’m cuban, I live in Cuba but I’m in Miami, Florida on vacations.
    Well, Rusney Castillo played in Cuba for my team, Ciego de Avila Tigers, he was a key player for our first championship in 50 years,
    I know him very well, saw him play many times.
    He will be the first player of my province, since Tany Perez, to play in the majors.
    Good luck Rusney!

    • The_Artist_Formerly_OFIC 11 months ago

      pretty awesome! Two years ago I went to an Indians Orioles game in Cleveland when Indy Chavez was with Baltimore… I went with a friend from his town in Venezuela. A lot of pride there.. as it should be! Cuba is turning out some monster players lately!

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