lukewarm stoveThis offseason, and particularly in the late offseason, there was something of a wave of Cuban defectors becoming available for signing by Major League Baseball teams. Early on, we had first baseman Jose Abreu and infielder Alexander Guerrero, and then there was catcher Yenier Bello, and then infielders Erisbel Arruebarruena and Aledmys Diaz. Each of those five has since signed on with a big league team, with the deals ranging widely from $68 million to Abreu and $28 million to Guerrero (who has since been sent to the minors), sliding down to relatively small deals for Bello and Diaz.

There was another group of intriguing defectors, however, about whom we still haven’t heard much. Two of those names – outfielder/infielder Rusney Castillo and pitcher Raicel Iglesias – have been particularly absent from any recent rumors, and it looks like Ben Badler can explain why:

Oh. Well how about that.

Although it’s unclear whether the Cubs will be interested in either player, you’ve got to figure that, with young international talent, the Cubs will always at least kick the tires. When the duo actually reaches free agency, perhaps we’ll hear more.

We’ve talked about Castillo and Iglesias a few times before (here, here, and here), but the short version is this: Castillo, 26, is a versatile player with a little bit of pop, but scouts aren’t sure he can be a starter in the big leagues. Iglesias, 23, is a smaller pitcher who has upside, but will need some minor league seasoning, and might wind up in the bullpen long-term.

When these two are granted free agency, I expect we’ll hear a flurry of new rumors. The Cubs didn’t spend a much money in the offseason, so, should they really like one of these guys, it’s entirely possible that they’ll be able to nab that player (or both) if it’s a guy they really want. With so little information on them at this point, however, I couldn’t even begin to speculate as to what kind of financial commitment they would require.

  • The Nefi Perez Plan

    I think the Cubs international spending restrictions could lead them towards these guys as they try to land young talent in other ways unless the FO doesn’t like them.

  • DarthHater

    “I couldn’t even begin to speculate as to what kind of financial commitment they would require.”

    Sure you could, if you wanted to. But your dedication to the reality-based community is … quaint.

  • woody

    After reading the account of Puig’s human smuggling woes and him being threatened by one of those rings you have wonder about the system as it currently operates. I don’t know why our government can’t negociate some kind of an agreement to allow these Cuban players to come here. I think the article I read said that Puig gave 20% of his contract to the cock roaches running the smuggling operation. The point of contention is that Puig was involved with two different groups and the first one wasn’t paid. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation. My personal feeling is that we do business with Venezuela which has a similar government to Cuba and we persist with out dated sanctions which have accomplished little and have cost thousands of lives for people that deal with these criminals to seek a better life.

    • Jon

      The problem is Castro(Fidel not Starlin :) )

      • woody

        Jon go to D.C. and look at the Wall. We do business and allow investment in Viet Nam with a communist country whose military and symphathizers inflicted carnage for more than ten years, but we can’t deal with Cuba. I understand that Fidel is public enemy number one, but we deal with tyrants and murderers all the time. Myamar for example. Candians and Europeans are all vacationing in Cuba and many Americans as well. The past can never be changed, but the hypocracy of doing business with China or Viet Nam or any other communist state while continuing this for Cuba baffles me. And I guess I’m probably getting too political so I will shut up before Brett banishes me.

        • Jon

          Damn it Walter… What the F***, has anything got to do with Vietnam?

          • waittilthisyear

            ha there it is Jon boy

      • hansman

        I hope we aren’t trying to still have negotiations with Fidel.

        • Jon

          I’d imagine you would have more success negotiating with Fidel than the rooftop owners.

      • J. L.

        Although there’s nothing in this world we Cubs fans can’t blame on Starlin.

    • Spoda17

      Woody… the problem is we think other countries think like us… and in reality they don’t.

  • addks

    For Brett or anybody that has the answer,

    What is the normal BABIP for the average player? I realize everyone has a different number, but what is a typical number?

    • DarthHater

      It varies from year to year and league to league, but the approximate figure usually tossed around is .300.

    • FullCountTommy

      The average is right around .300, but as you said, it depends on the player. Guys with higher ground ball/line drive rates will have higher BABIPs than guys with higher fly ball rates. Guys who make harder consistent contact will obviously have higher BABIPs than guys who make consistently weaker contact (Think Darwin Barney)

      • addks


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