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cuba featureGiven the limited data MLB teams (to say nothing of we modest outsiders) get on a Cuban defector before having to make multi-million-dollar decisions, you can understand why they’d want as many workouts with a player like Rusney Castillo as possible. Some scouts see the 27-year-old as a future reserve outfielder, while others see him as a top-of-the-order, impact bat playing quality center field. The gap in value there is enormous, and you’re going to want to see him as many times as possible (especially since you can’t really see him in game action) before committing to a price.

At the same time, it’s not always clear that a private workout with a team is a necessary precursor to a signing. Perhaps some teams feel confident enough in their scouting to make an offer based on what they have without a private workout. Perhaps, for strategic reasons, a player flat-out will not do as many private workouts as have been requested of him.

So when multiple reports had upwards of four teams getting private workouts with Castillo this week, none of which was the Cubs, I really didn’t know what to make of it. Does that mean the Cubs won’t do a private workout? Does it matter if they don’t? Are they basically out after seeing what he could do this past weekend at a public workout?

Well, two interesting reports on all of this stuff. The first, from Jesse Sanchez, suggests that getting a private workout with Castillo could be pretty important when it comes to signing him (I’ll include all of Sanchez’s recent tweets on Castillo, because they’re interesting):

So … in Castillo’s case, are the private workouts being used as a tool to narrow down suitors? Like getting a rose? (“The most SHOCKING private workout ceremony EVER!”)

If that’s the case, are the Cubs already out of luck? Well, the second interesting report comes from Patrick Mooney, who writes that the Cubs haven’t ruled out the possibility of a private workout with Castillo, though one had not been scheduled as of last night. It sounds like the Cubs are still interested, but we don’t really know beyond that. Heck, we don’t even yet know how Castillo’s representatives will handle negotiations/bidding, or when that will take place.

With so many interested teams, and considering Sanchez’s report, I’m not sure it’s safe to say the Cubs are heavily in on Castillo absent a private workout. It sounds like they’ll be ongoing this week, so we may hear more in the coming days.

UPDATE: Indeed, a timely update:

So, clearly, workouts are still being scheduled.

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