Based on how long it’s taken Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, 27, to sort out his options and to be vetted by teams since becoming a free agent more than a month ago, we can reasonably surmise a couple things: (1) Nobody, including Castillo, is expecting that he’ll be a playoff race difference-maker down the stretch (it’s still possible he could, but, after a year layoff, teams aren’t tripping over themselves to lock him up right-this-second so they can get as many games from him as possible this year); and (2) Either the interest is so strong that sorting out proper offers is difficult, or the interest at the price level Castillo wants is not quite there, hence the tour of private workouts (including one at Wrigley) to see if any team finally pulls the trigger.
We can’t know on that last one for sure, and we probably won’t until after he’s signed, and the rumors trickle out about what the other teams really thought.
Speaking of which …
- Jesse Sanchez reports that the private workout segment of the Castillo pursuit is coming to an end, and the field will be narrowed to the highest bidders in the coming days. I’m merely guessing based on previous international pursuits, but I think that we’ll probably hear about three or four finalists by next week. From there, we might not hear anything until the signing, itself.
- Sanchez adds, by the way, that no team is viewed as a leader just yet. This will probably come down to the highest bidder.
- Scott Laubner reports that the Red Sox are expected to be “aggressive” on Castillo, which is noteworthy because we’d previously heard that their interest might wane after the Yoenis Cespedes acquisition. A strong interest in Castillo could shed some light on the Red Sox’s concerns about Jackie Bradley, Jr. and/or Mookie Betts, long-term. Then again, Cespedes is a free agent after next season, and you get assets when you can.
- Finally, a new hype video on Castillo from his July 28 workout for teams. Complete with a soundtrack from his kinda-sorta agent, Jay-Z. I don’t know why these exist, but they’re fun: