The fight for the services of Cuban sensation Rusney Castillo is coming to a head. Per CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman:
One of a half-dozen teams -- the Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Cubs, Yankees and Mariners -- who all worked out Castillo privately -- is expected to win the services of the compact and powerful Castillo who is generally viewed as an outfielder by most but is apparently being considered as a possible second baseman by the Yankees. …
Estimates have ranged from $35 million to $55 million for Castillo, though early estimates have tended to be low on some of the Cuban stars. There is a possibility Castillo could possibly be ready to help a contender this year if he signs soon, which is another reason a deal could happen in the coming days.
How much of an impact Castillo will have is unknown, but Yoenis Cespedes had nothing but praise, saying, “If he’s not a five-tool player, he’s a least a four-tool player. He’s very comparable to [Dodgers outfielder Yasiel] Puig. Obviously a different height and size, but very similar qualities,” per WEEI’s Rob Bradford.
Regarding his landing spot, the bids are sealed, so no one knows what is going to happen, but if he ended up with the Mariners, it would be a coup for general manager Jack Zduriencik.
After all, Zduriencik brought in multiple players, including Austin Jackson, Kendrys Morales and Chris Denorfia, via trade this season in an effort to provide Robinson Cano and an exceptional pitching staff with some support.
Signing Castillo would be a fitting exclamation point on what has been an aggressive period in Mariners history.
Either way, there will be closure on Castillo's situation shortly.
If the club with the highest bid ends up in the postseason, he will have to be on the roster prior to Sept. 1. If he's not, Castillo will not be eligible for the playoffs.
Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference and are accurate as of game time on Wednesday, August 20. Transaction, injury and game information are courtesy of MLB.com. Contract information from Cot's Contracts.