Conflicting Reports on Where the Cubs Stand in the Bidding for OF Rusney Castillo

Jed Hoyer confirmed Wednesday the Cubs are in the mix for Rusney Castillo after a rather confusing 24 hours on the Rusney Castillo front. Reports Monday suggested the Cubs were one of the major bidders for the free agent outfielder, but it appeared the Cubs were out of the mix throughout the day Tuesday based on the bidding for his services passing the point the Cubs front office was willing to go on the talented, yet unknown outfielder.

Buster Olney reported Tuesday afternoon that the Cubs were viewed as the team most likely to sign Castillo based on information he received from two sources tied to interest in Castillo. Then came the report from Ken Rosenthal two-plus hours after Olney’s that stated the Cubs, along with the Yankees and Phillies, were out of the mix for Castillo because those three teams would not be outbidding the Tigers, Red Sox or Giants for his services.

Jed Hoyer would not comment on how good a player Rusney Castillo is or where the Cubs stood on the negotiations with him during an interview on The Kap & Haugh Show (87.7 The Game). Hoyer acknowledged the Cubs were one of 8-10 teams that held a private workout for him. Hoyer said the Cubs are involved in the process for Castillo.

To what level the Cubs are still in the running to sign OF Rusney Castillo is unknown at this point. The Cubs are believed to be one of the finalists in the bidding process that could exceed $55 million for the outfielder that Yoenis Cespedes said is very comparable to Yasiel Puig.

PrintThe comps on the 27-year old outfielder have ranged from Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner to Ron Gant to a fourth on a contending team.

As reported Tuesday, Jon Heyman posted estimates have ranged from $35-55 million on what it would take to sign Castillo, which fell within the report from Sahadev Sharma that bidding for Castillo had gotten wild and surpassed $55 million. Dave Cameron indicated Wednesday morning that he could end up signing for north of $50 million.

According to multiple reports, Rusney Castillo is expected to pick a team and sign by the weekend.

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  • John_CC

    I predict he goes to the Tigers. They need help right now and have room in CF after trading Austin Jackson…which is also when they started to lose.

    • calicub

      Rajai has been holding down CF pretty well in his absence. Which is working out for my fantasy team!

  • cubtex

    Hell…They gave 52 mil to EJax..and have spent basically nothing since. What is 50 mil if they believe this guy is the real deal? I imagine they feel that way since Hoyer has confirmed that so they shouldn’t let a few mil here and there be the sticking point. If they feel he is that good…..spend the cash and get him.

    • BigJonLilJon

      If they believe he’s the real deal is the key.
      “The comps on the 27-year old outfielder have ranged from Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner to Ron Gant to a fourth on a contending team.”
      50 Million or more for a Gant or 4th OF’r??? No thanks.

      • cubtex

        You wouldn’t go 10 or 11 mil per year on…

        .256 .336 OBP 28 HR 89 RBI with 21 SB

        Those are Ron Gant’s career averages. I would take that in a heartbeat for that salary.

        • BigJonLilJon

          Its been well documented that Castillo won’t project for that kind of power. So take that out of those numbers. A 256 BA for a guy who’s best and only offensive attribute is his speed… doesn’t work for me, nor fit into the Cubs future lineup plans.

        • Theboardrider

          I would take those numbers…

          But that does seem like moe HR than I’ve assumed based on projections. I figured 15-20 max HR.

          ST, did you see the link article I posted yesterday about prospects? Using Ty Griffin as an example and quotes?

      • daverj

        Gant was very, very good in his prime.

    • BillyFinT

      In general, I’m against signing Cuban player as if he is a “mature, Major-ready” prospect. I’ve tried to explain this to T.b.r the other day here… We don’t have enough info to objectively evaluate one.

      It’s like, for players from Japan, if we can rely 70% of performance (inc. stats) and 30% of scout, a player from Cuba is 70% of scout and 30% of performance. There are a lot of unknowns in b/w.

      I know “performance scouting” nowadays are well woven into a sophisticated, player-evaluation system. In face of an unknown, the FO might let a scout with strong personality who watched the Cuban play, heard from a few other scouts, but jumped into a conclusion without knowing the player from other aspects, such as his ability to work in a different environment?

      There are some countries where the scout can gather enough info of the player via his coach, friends, training program, and even psychological or school tests. Cuba is not one of those countries where info is easy to come by. We can’t even properly evaluate the Cuban league, a pure bred of locals with very little mobility of moving players, how good it is compared to a Minor league?

      If Castillo costs 50M, I rather the Cubs spend that money on domestic draft and FA.

      • Darrell Birkey

        But of course there have been plenty of mature Cuban players who were MLB ready. The signing price will always depend on the bidders. As far as the domestic draft, the Cubs spend every bit of their allowed amount. Signing Castillo will have very little effect on what the Cubs can do in free agency.
        You overstate the difficulty of evaluating Cuban players. Those player also compete in international play where they can be easily scouted.
        Of course, not every player is a star… but superstars do come out of Cuba too.

        • cubtex

          Jose Abreu turned out to be pretty good huh? :)

        • BillyFinT

          Your statement is only true if and only if the scout already knew the player very well. Like said, not enough info. due to the lack of access from MLB scouts in Cuba.

          Ever have that teammate or workmate who’s mediocre at his position? whether it’s a project or a daily assignment? Then one day, by luck, when your boss is closely monitoring that project, your mate suddenly outperformed the norm and received credit? Your mate very soon got a promotion or a scholarship, while you know a better candidate is in your team or classroom?

          A player can look really great in a few tourney games, mostly 7-9 games. That’s far less than what one can look at from performance tracking.

          The player can then become crappy in all his other games, but the scout who watched him “in most” games would be misguided and believed what he saw from that few games.

          This is especially a problem since the int’l governing body of IBAF already canceled the Intercon. and the World Cup. All other games now, including the WBC, have less incentives for most countries to recruit the best Minor or Major players to compete in the tourneys.

          Anyway, I meant it when said, it’s now 70% scout than 30% performance when looking at a Cuban player.

    • John_CC

      I’m seriously doubt that the $55M is a sticking point if indeed they feel like he ready to compete at a high level. If they do not “win” the bid it will be because they don’t see him fitting into the picture OR that some other team is going well over the $50M mark and he just isn’t worth it.

    • Theboardrider

      I agree. Just that we don’t know how much they believe he is. Could be whole heartedly. Or could be worth a shot at right price.

    • daverj

      I agree. I would be in favor of the Cubs signing him in the 6-7 year, $50-$60 million range.

  • BosephHeyden

    Do we really need him? $50 million is a lot to spend on a position that’s already being pretty well developed in the minors. Not to mention the whole “unknown” factor everyone else has mentioned. Let’s just spend a lot of money on two of the big pitchers coming out next year and start competing.

    • Darrell Birkey

      First of all it is not $50 million in a lump sum. It will be over enough years that it would not keep the Cubs from spending in any particular year.

    • jtrain23

      Determining worth is difficult with an international player. It is often determined by the market more than the player. That is just the world we live in.

      However, I have to say recent history would be on your side signing this guy. These Cuban players appear to make the on field transition pretty seamlessly to create an immediate impact. If he could step right in, it takes the pressure off of developing minor leaguers and the organization. Plus, if he produces but is standing in the way of someone else that is ready, you flip him or the “other guy” for an immediate need ie. pitching.

    • JasonPen

      Yeah. Roll over that 50 mil of savings and put it into an account labeled “David Price 2016”.

  • Theboardrider

    Hey guys, I’m not in Chicago so I don’t know the local writers as well. Is Sahadev Sharma legit? Whats the consensus on how much he should be listened to?

    • jtrain23

      He writes for several outlets and covers a lot of topics for the Cubs as well as the White Sox. I believe he was a manager or producer for a Chicago ESPN Radio affiliate for a few years as well. He seems to have widespread credentials. Whether a person agrees with his analysis would be a matter of personal opinion. I have read several stories by him and have not been displeased, but do not follow him close enough to state a strong opinion either way.

    • Tony_H

      Yes!!! Very good and well informed. He just joined BP as well.

      • Theboardrider

        Baseball Prospectus? Nice….

        Phillip Rogers is the one everybody bashes on? I try to keep up with who you guys like, and who you say is a kook.