Cubs Reportedly a Major Bidder for OF Rusney Castillo

A report late last Friday from Joel Sherman indicated free agent OF Rusney Castillo was in the process of reviewing the offers from numerous teams interested in signing him and he would trim the list down over the weekend and possibly sign with a team during the upcoming week.

The Cubs are believed to be one of the many teams interested in signing the speedy outfielder and held a private workout for him at Wrigley Field earlier in the month.

According to a report from Gordon Edes of ESPN, the Cubs have been mentioned, along with the Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees and Phillies, as major bidders for Rusney Castillo.

According to the report from ESPN Boston, the Red Sox have put in an offer for Rusney Castillo and while the bidding for him is not expected to reach the contract that Jose Abreu (six years, $68 million) signed with the White Sox, Castillo is expected to sign for at least as much as Yasiel Puig did with the Dodgers (seven years, $42 million).

PrintThe New York Post reported that Castillo is “shifting through offers from MLB teams, but hasn’t yet set a timetable on when he will sign a free agent contract.” The same report indicated the Phillies are the favorite to sign Castillo according to several teams interested in signing him. And according to the Post, Rusney Castillo could sign a contract in the $40-55 million range.

According to the reports from Joel Sherman, the contenders interested in Rusney Castillo would like to sign him as soon as possible in order to get him into their system and hopefully some playing time before the minor league season ends. Castillo would have to be in the team’s organization before the end of the month in order for him to be eligible to play in the post-season.

Rusney Castillo is expected to make a decision “any day now” according to Gordon Edes.

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  • TheWrongGuy

    Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t Rusney Castillo need to be cleared for a work visa prior to signing with a team? Unless I missed it somewhere I didn’t see where he had obtained this?
    Any rate, another tabloid write-up for them “crazy” NY writers.
    Thanks for the great info. You are super Neil, TomU and the rest of the CCO!

    • woody34

      I believe in order to go through the free agency process they have to clear the residency issue in another country before getting visa. Then they get the visa – then on to the free agency process. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Neil

        Woody, that is close. The visa is the last thing. He was in the states on a visitor’s visa. He would have to acquire a work visa once he signs.

        He’s been cleared by the government and MLB has declared him a free agent.

        • GaryLeeT

          I am just going from memory, but I did spend 20 years in SFLA, and Cubans get special treatment above any other imigrant group. If remeber correctly, Cubans that reach US soil can defect, and gain residency as a refugee. Then, they get fast tracked as a permanent resident. I could be wrong, but I think they get to the US through the Dominican, and I don’t think they ever go back home.

    • Neil

      Thank you.

      He can sign with any team at this point. He has to have a work visa in order to play. He was in the States on a visitor’s visa, not a work visa.

    • Tom U

      Thank you.

  • triple

    I wouldn’t offer much more than 5years/$35M w/ a $10M signing bonus. I’m glad the FO got to work him out at Wrigley and really evaluate, so they know as good as any other front offices what he is capable of and worth. However, seeing as speed is one of his major assets, at the age of 27, I can’t imagine he’ll retain that much past 31 or 32. Hence why I think just offer 5 years at a decent salary, but offer a nice signing bonus.

    • Jeff Wilson

      Personally I don’t make him that offer, only because it would block that position. If it were a 2 year deal, with club options for years 3 and 4, I’m all for it,

      • triple

        If he actually accepted that offer and we signed him, as long as he is good, he would be tradable. And while the younger guys come up, or someone like Bryant moves to the OF within the next couple years, it would create more depth, which would be really nice. I emphasize signing him to a contract that makes him valuable in a trade, as I don’t see the Cubs needing him for more than the next couple years. It would be a gamble, but if he was able to be traded for a TOR arm at the trade deadline of 2016 if the Cubs were in a pennant race, that would probably all be worth it. And while he’s here, his speed would be really nice. In all honesty, I can take him or leave him, but if he does pan out, I just think about how the team can capitalize on his speed and trade value for more pitching.

        • Jeff Wilson

          Triple, first off I have read many of your post and want to tell you that I think you are very well informed source, so thank you.
          That said, I agree, I probable should have expanded my comment because I feel 100 percent agreement with your reply, I just didn’t take the time to spell it all out. Yes, I don’t know if he would sign for fewer years when other teams are offering more…. that was just my dream package. I can take or leave him, I wouldn’t want to offer him something Soriano like, but he would add value to our organization at the right price.

  • SirGladiator

    We got outbid for Cespedes and Darvish, we could’ve won those bids. We got outbid for Tanaka, we couldn’t help that since we were up against the unlimited money of the Yankees. We need to stop being outbid, and this looks like it could be a really great spot to end that streak. Obviously the FO knows a lot more than we do about whether this guy appears to be Cespedes/Darvish/Puig like (which is to say, bigtime Superstar potential) or not, but if he is then we absolutely have to win this bid. We ‘can’ win it, it’s not huge money, and we ‘must’ win it, assuming they liked what they saw in the workout. Let’s bring him home to Chicago!

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  • Jeff Wilson

    It appears that Jake Stinnett was promoted to Boise, according to this article. Anyone confirm?

    • Neil

      Jeff, I can confirm. You must have missed it when I reported it last week.

      • Jeff Wilson

        Thanks Neil… I saw something on Twitter (maybe from you) over the weekend, and did a search but came up empty. It bothers me that I missed something that you reported on last week, I must be working too hard! :-)

  • calicub

    I don’t understand the talk of “oh his legs are going to be the first to go” and “he’s going to block our core prospects” so don’t sign him.

    HE IS 27!!! If he performs well enough to stick in the OF, then he isn’t blocking anybody; it’s called earning your spot. Even if he fails, a 5 year $40MM contract is not going to sink this team. Nor do I think this FO would use his contract as an excuse to block prospects were he not performing.

    As I pointed out previously, there are few (if any) comparable FA’s on the open market this off-season, all of whom have great risk. Melky, Rasmus, Castillo. Those are the only three remotely fleet-footed outfielders on the FA market in the age range needed for this team. Melky has been great this season, but with an injury and PED history, he is a huge question mark to reproduce at the level he is this year. Rasmus has shown flashes of being a high-caliber bat with plus defense but has an injury history that would make Melky look like Bruce Willis in ‘Unbreakable.’ (Where did that reference come from?).

    Castillo is the youngest and IMO has the highest up-side of any of these guys.

    • TheWrongGuy

      While I agree. I also more so disagree.
      I would like the CUBS to hold their cash for the off-season and sign one of the top FA arms available this coming off-season(or sign 2 arms). And dump EJax. <— this being priority number 1.

      • calicub

        But do you really think, even if he makes $10MM a year, that would preclude the FO from going after a player or players they had to have, needed, or wanted? NO!

        Chicago is one of the largest markets in the country, and has been saving its money for the last two off-seasons!! People seem to be forgetting this. We aren’t in the skin&bones era of Jim Hendry. The Cubs aren’t stretching their budget to the extreme every off-season any more, and while that shows on the field, I truly believe it will show more this off-season.

        Dumping EJax would essentially pay for Castillo with another $3-4MM to spare. The Cubs only have $31MM on the books for 2015 plus Arbitration raises, ( ) which would put the club closer to probably put them closer to the $70-80MM mark. That is plenty of room to add 2 FA starters and Castillo. That is, assuming the FO sees this club competing and therefore worth while to maintain a higher club payroll.

    • triple

      I agree with you, but no more than a 5 year deal. I mentioned a 5yr/$35M contract w/ $10M signing bonus. I also still like Melky Cabrera as an option, but wouldn’t do more than 3 years (and option for 4th year). I don’t think PED’s will be much of an issue with him after getting caught. Another plus about Melky is his ability to bat 1st or 2nd in the order and not strike out a bunch, while having a good OBP, and he’s proven he can do it in the MLB already. I think one of either Melky or Castillo would really help the team.

      • calicub

        I’m not worried about him being caught again, I’m worried about the body after long periods on steroids and what it will do injury wise.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    AS long as they still have money to sign pitching, I’m ok with it.

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