cuba featureThe rumors are flying fast on Rusney Castillo, who appears to be on the verge of signing. Just this morning, we discussed conflicting rumors about the teams in on, and favored on, Castillo. Now, it looks like the field could be narrowing further.

Sahadev Sharma reports that the bidding on Castillo may top $55 million, which is the very high end of the range we’d been hearing on Castillo for the past few weeks. At that level, Sharma suspects the Cubs would be out, and it may come down to the Tigers and Red Sox. The Cubs simply may not value him quite that highly.

Speaking of the teams in or out on Castillo, Pete Caldera writes that the Yankees are out, given the escalation in the price tag (and the luxury tax implications for the Yankees). Caldera mentions only the Tigers and Red Sox as other interested teams.

It’s conceivable, then, that Castillo came out of the weekend with five possible suitors – the Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, and Tigers – and all but two have dropped out in the last two days as offers rolled in and/or were increased. Nothing is official, and that’s merely a reading of how these rumors have trickled out.

At $55 million over, for example, six years, you’d better be pretty convinced this is an every-day starter in the big leagues, at a minimum. Some teams, it seems, have doubts. Still, the possible upside has to be tempting, which is why some teams are willing to roll the dice.

UPDATE: I very much trust Sharma on these things, but, let it be known that Buster Olney is hearing that the Cubs may actually not only not be out, but they might be the favorites:

That last part merits the most highlighting, though. Educated guesses by other teams involved in the bidding can be misleading, because, well, there’s a lot of intentional misdirection in these things. Very interesting, though.

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