Lukewarm Stove: Cuban Outfielder Rusney Castillo Working Out Next Week, Will Sign Soon

cuba featureThe next big Cuban player to sign is likely to be outfielder Rusney Castillo, a 27-year-old bowling ball (5’9″, 200 lbs) whose future role is still hard to grasp – impact starter? super utility type? mere 4th/5th outfielder? In the end, talent is talent, and the rest sorts itself out.

Castillo is now officially completely eligible to sign with any MLB team, and he’ll hold a showcase in Miami next Saturday for interested teams before signing. Based on his age, his availability (costs just money), and position (outfield), there is a superficial fit with the Cubs (and about 20 other teams). Castillo has some pop, has plus-plus speed, and is viewed by some as a starting-caliber center fielder at the big league level. Ben Badler has more, including more video, on Castillo here.

The Cubs have saved money recently for this type of signing, and it really just comes down to two things: (1) How well do the Cubs’ scouts like Castillo? and (2) How crazy does the bidding get?

There’s a 2(a) to that second one: does the timing of his availability impact the craziness? If teams believe Castillo is ready to go and to impact a pennant race, then the teams in a race will theoretically be able and willing to spend those extra, incremental dollars on Castillo that a team like the Cubs arguably shouldn’t spend (that is to say: from a pure valuation perspective, if teams were valuing Castillo perfectly, he’s worth more to other teams than to the Cubs). However, you have to remember that we’re talking about six years of control, potentially, and one playoff race may not appreciably distort the signing price such that teams like the Cubs are excluded. (Note: because of his age and experience in Cuba, Castillo is not subject to any international signing restrictions. He’s just a straight-up free agent.)

Don’t forget: big-time 23-year-old Cuban power bat Yasmani Tomas is looming, and it could be that the Cubs would prefer to save their chips for him. It certainly seems like there is more long-term impact potential there, even if there is more risk. (Of course, as is frequently the case with Cuban players, because of limited scouting looks and the level of competition there, we don’t always have a good sense of how teams view these guys until after they sign (and even then, it’s often widely varied – one team (not the Cubs) infamously put a $500 to $1 million valuation on Yasiel Puig before he signed with the Dodgers for $42 million). Tomas is not yet a free agent.

For now, all eyes will be on Castillo next Saturday, July 26.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more cubs news

REPORT: Cubs to Call Up Infield Prospect Luis Vazquez

A surprising report tonight ahead of tomorrow's off-day for the Chicago Cubs. Another infielder is coming up, and he'd be making his big league debut in the process. It's defensive stud Luis Vazquez, a guy whom many had been calling...

Enhanced Box Score: Pirates 3, Cubs 2 – May 19, 2024

The brutal, brutal run for the Chicago Cubs' offense continued today. It's really hard to win that way, and even harder to watch. Jameson Taillon was a touch better than his line today, without a lot of defensive help behind...

Pre-Gamin’: Pirates at Cubs (1:20 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

CUBS LINEUP — Well, the good news is that the Cubs have an off-day tomorrow and Dansby Swanson is targeting a Tuesday return from the IL. So no matter what, this SHOULD be the last day the Cubs middle infield...

Enjoying the Actual Walk-Off, Morel History, Leiter and Neris, Holy Brennen Davis, and Other Cubs Bullets

Despite everything, the Cubs are still three games up for the second Wild Card spot at the moment (and two games back in the NL Central). That's not a going-forward projection, it's just some context. The drama around the call...

The Pirates Can Be As Mad As They Like, But That Call Was Correct

If I were a catcher and wanted to record an out, I would simply not drop the ball. It's a jokey line, sure, but it's also correct in relation to yesterday's controversial conclusion. I think after seeing the replays of...

Wake Up and Watch Shota Imanaga Dominate and the Cubs Walk It Off

The Cubs pulled out a win in the bottom of the 9th yesterday, when Christopher Morel drove in Cody Bellinger to walk it off. The Pirates were undoubtedly displeased about the controversial ending, as it looked like Bellinger had been...

The Cubs Walk It Off on a Weird Play at the Plate!

Whew. That game was kinda dumb, but I tell you, the ending sure was fun. And also weird! So, to set the stage, the Pirates and Cubs' offenses could do nothing all day long. The game was still 0-0 in...

Brennen Davis FREAKING DID IT AGAIN! AND THEN HE DID IT AGAIN AFTER THAT!

This guy. What do I even say? I was already kinda buzzy when Brennen Davis homered again - a grand slam - for the fifth time in six games, and sixth time in eight games. THAT IS RIDICULOUS. https://twitter.com/IowaCubs/status/1791967453888598441 Truly...

Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 1, Pirates 0 – May 18, 2024

What matters most is that the Cubs won the game. And it was a fun ending, too. So I'm happy. But I also do feel a little frustrated - or concerned might be the better word - as I'm sure...

Pre-Gamin’: Pirates at Cubs (1:20 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

CUBS LINEUP — Losing to the Braves (and then Jared Jones and Paul Skenes), when you have 10 people on the IL, including your entire middle infield, is not really that concerning to me. It sucks and banking losses is...

Latest News

How to Watch Royals vs. Tigers: Live Stream or on TV

On Monday, Michael Wacha will take the mound for the Kansas City Royals (29-19) against Reese Olson and the Detroit Tigers (23-23), with first pitch scheduled for 7:40 PM ET at Kauffman Stadium.The article below will provide you with everything...

Panthers vs. Rangers Stanley Cup Semifinals Game 1 Prediction: Odds, Picks, Best Bets – Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The oddsmakers are predicting a close contest between the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers on Wednesday in New York City, with the Panthers given moneyline odds of -115 and the Rangers at -105.Watch the NHL on Fubo!Panthers vs. Rangers...

How to Watch Astros vs. Angels: Live Stream or on TV

The Houston Astros (21-26), with Framber Valdez on the mound, host the Los Angeles Angels (18-29) who will start Reid Detmers, at 8:10 PM ET on Monday.Keep reading to find out how to watch the Houston-Los Angeles matchup in the...

How to Watch Braves vs. Padres: Live Stream or on TV

The Atlanta Braves (26-15), led by Marcell Ozuna, host Jurickson Profar and the San Diego Padres (23-24) on Monday at 12:20 PM ET.See how to watch the Atlanta-San Diego matchup below.When is Braves vs. Padres and when does it start?This...

Cardinals vs. Orioles: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The St. Louis Cardinals (20-26), with Sonny Gray on the hill, host the Baltimore Orioles (29-15) who will start Dean Kremer, at 7:45 PM ET on Monday in a series opener.Find out how to watch the St. Louis-Baltimore matchup below.When...

Twins vs. Nationals: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

Pablo Lopez takes the ball for the Minnesota Twins (24-22) when they visit starter Mitchell Parker and the Washington Nationals (20-25) at 6:45 PM ET on Monday.If you're trying to watch this game, keep reading for streaming and TV options...

Brewers vs. Marlins: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Monday, in a series opener at LoanDepot park, Joe Ross takes the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers (27-19) against Ryan Weathers and the Miami Marlins (15-33), with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM ET.Keep reading to find out all...

Rays vs. Red Sox: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Taj Bradley will take the ball for the Tampa Bay Rays (25-23) when they host starter Tanner Houck and the Boston Red Sox (23-24) in a series opener on Monday, with first pitch at 6:50 PM ET.Keep reading to find...

How to Watch Guardians vs. Mets: Live Stream or on TV

Ben Lively will take the ball for the Cleveland Guardians (30-17) when they host starter Tylor Megill and the New York Mets (21-25) on Monday, with first pitch at 6:10 PM ET.The article below will give you everything you need...

Yankees vs. Mariners: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

Marcus Stroman takes the mound for the New York Yankees (33-15) when they host starter Logan Gilbert and the Seattle Mariners (25-22) at 7:05 PM ET on Monday.Keep reading to find out all the details on how to watch New...

more cubs news