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cuba featureWith his myriad private workouts coming to a close, Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo is set to make some cuts in the teams pursuing. As we discussed yesterday, those cuts will likely be in the form of “you didn’t offer enough, you’re cut … now the rest of you: offer more.”

That process could be happening now, according to the New York Post. Per that report and George A. King III’s sources, Castillo has already received some offers, and will be sorting through them with an eye toward making a decision next week. King hears that the final investment could top the $35 to $45 million range that has been thrown around. And, of course, the investment total could be for anywhere from four to six or seven years, which will impact the perceived value on the deal. Deconstructing this thing on the back-end will be fascinating.

In the end, it probably depends on how much the bidders believe in Castillo’s power potential, and whether there will be any significant swing and miss issues in the big leagues.

We know that the Cubs are interested, having worked Castillo out at Wrigley last week, but we won’t know until the signing goes through just how interested the Cubs were (or weren’t). He’s the right age (27), he plays a spot where the Cubs have room to add (outfield), and he could be an impact bat at the top of the order (another Cubs need). What we don’t know is how the Cubs value Castillo and how they project him in the big leagues.

It sounds like we’ll have a better idea soon enough.

UPDATE: Joel Sherman adds a little bit more to the situation in a series of tweets:

Now, then. Many thoughts.

On the contenders aspect, I am circumspect. It’s not that I don’t think contenders do feel urgency and do hope they can get Castillo in the mix for the stretch run, but I question whether a team that pays extra to get Castillo immediately is making a wise decision. This is a talented player, but one who hasn’t played competitively in over a year (and never in the States). Counting on him to not only play in the bigs immediately, but to play in a playoff race AND be a difference-maker strikes me as ludicrous. I guess it’s possible, but if I were one of those contenders, it’s not like I’m throwing on an extra $10 million for the 2014 impact, alone.

As for the teams viewed as the leaders, it’s hard to quibble, given the other rumors out there (and the fact that Sherman is about as good as it gets on these things). Indeed, our last two updates on Castillo discussed, among other things, the presumed heavy involvement of the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox (and Phillies). Even if the Cubs really want Castillo, they’re in for a fight. I have to wonder, given that Sherman is reporting on both the teams and the existence of offers, if those three teams have already bid the highest.

 

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