The Red Sox yesterday made a huge splash when they signed free agent Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Rusney is Cuban for “Built like a fullback, runs like a tailback, hits like an All-Star.” When the deal was finalized by Sox brass and Jay Z’s people, the terms were seven years at $72,500,000. This is the largest deal ever for a free-agent amateur, and is just below the deal that the Chicago White Sox signed fellow Cuban Jose Abreu last winter (six years at $68,000,000.)
The Sox now have gone from having their weakest hitting outfield in 50 years to two legitimate deep threats with Yoenis Cespedes in left and Castillo flanking him. It is expected that Castillo will be in the Fenway outfield very soon, as the Red Sox desperately need to feed their fans some hope for next year.
Listed at 5’9” and 205 pounds, he has added twenty pounds of muscle within the past year. He has above average speed, a better than average arm, and can play center or right fields. He also played second base in Cuba. As far as his style, there are comparisons ranging from Andrew McCutchen to Yasiel Puig to Jacoby Ellsbury former MLBer Ron Gant.
Castillo hasn’t played a pro game in over 12 months, having left Cuba and establishing residency in Haiti. He has never hit MLB pitching, and his debut may be the most watched at bat in recent Red Sox history.
Stay tuned Red Sox Nation!