I am told by multiple sources that today*, at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs are getting their private workout with Cuban free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo.
The 27-year-old Cuban defector, who has been the subject of great interest over the past few weeks, is thought by some to be a potential impact bat at the top of the order, while others suspect he might be more of a complementary piece. In any case, rumors have his price tag soaring into the $30 to $40 million range, and a number of teams are interested.
One of those teams is the Chicago Cubs. To be sure, today’s workout could partly be mere due diligence by the Cubs, to confirm things they already thought, or to rule out a heavy pursuit (you get limited scouting looks at Cuban players). But the fact that they’re entertaining a private workout – and that Castillo’s camp obliged – suggests that the Cubs’ interest is at least more than cursory.
I’ve reached out to the Cubs for comment about the workout, and I will update if and when I have more information.
Among the teams that have worked out, or reportedly will work out, Castillo are the Phillies, the Red Sox, the Yankees, the Orioles, and the Mariners. There could be others still.
*(Yes, I was told before Ben Nicholson-Smith did some excellent picture-taking at Wrigley today while on a vacation tour, but I was finalizing confirmation right around the same time he tweeted; so I guess consider this your confirmation of Nicholson-Smith’s tweet. But who cares about scoops, right? *kicks dirt, hangs head*)