The Boston Red Sox have reportedly agreed to sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a record-setting contract. WEEI.com reports that the deal is worth $72.5 million over seven years.
Castillo, 27, will sign the largest MLB contract ever signed by a Cuban player. The 5-foot-9 outfielder has not played organized baseball in over a year but showcased his talents for MLB scouts and front office personnel last month. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington was among those in attendance.
“He’s a player we’ve seen and we’ve talked to, but we’re just one of several teams that have done that,” Cherington said earlier this week. “There’s nothing more I can say.”
As Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald noted, the Red Sox have been extremely impressed with the smooth transition Cuban players like Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes have made when coming to America. Castillo has tremendous speed and an above-average glove. He could player either center field or right field for the Red Sox, depending on what moves they make during the offseason.
The Red Sox, who are currently in last place in the AL East, are already planning for 2014. If they can re-sign Jon Lester and possibly trade a couple prospects for an impact player, they should be right back in the mix. Cespedes and Castillo — assuming he transitions smoothly — should already give Boston great offense in the outfield.