Ooh! A thing to follow!
Yesterday, I wrote about Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, who has reached free agency, and who will work out for teams a week from today before signing. You can read that there link for more on the 27-year-old outfielder, but the short version is: he might be very good, he might be a bench guy.
What we didn’t know until now is whether the Chicago Cubs were interested. Superficially, it made sense: position of need, possible impact talent in prime years, acquired for only money. But now there’s an actual connection, and it comes from Jesse Sanchez, who is pretty much never wrong when it comes to international players.
Sanchez writes that the Cubs, together with the White Sox, Braves, Red Sox, and Giants, are among the interested teams, according to industry sources. He notes that every team will check him out at the workout next Saturday, but it’s usually meaningful when there are specific teams named.
As for Castillo, Sanchez hears comps on the high end for Castillo – some think he’s a true impact player like Jacoby Ellsbury or Kenny Lofton, or possibly someone like Brett Gardner. You can read Sanchez’s report for more on Castillo, who is represented by Jay-Z’s agency, Roc Nation Sports.
If the Cubs were to get Castillo, you would expect him to spend some time in the minors – perhaps the rest of this year – before competing for a starting job next year. The free agent class for outfielders is incredibly thin – Colby Rasmus and … uh … – and the Cubs have an obvious need going into next year. If they really like Castillo, this feels like a pretty perfect fit.
Of course, they aren’t alone in their interest.