Rusney Castillo was expected to make a decision on which team to sign with this week and the Cuban defector is trying to work as quickly as possible to make that decision.
Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald has the latest:
Heard Cuban OF/INF Rusney Castillo is moving quickly toward a decision. #RedSox have shown considerable interest.
— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) August 18, 2014
Castillo's rush to make a decision comes from the fact that he wants to play in the big leagues this season, and if he hopes to play on a postseason roster, he has to get into the majors by August 31 to be eligible.
Lauber's tweet notes that the Boston Red Sox are working hard to sign Castillo, but other teams such as the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers have been called "major players" in the Castillo sweepstakes, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) August 15, 2014
According to several teams with interest in the 27-year-old, who hasn’t played an organized game in a year, the Phillies are the favorite. However, that isn’t a consensus.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com contradicts King, as he was told that the Phils are not favorites to land the 27-year-old, despite the fact that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has been in regular contact with Castillo's representatives:
Industry sources have wondered how high the Phillies are on Castillo and do not view the team as a top candidate to sign the player. But general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has maintained communication with Castillo’s representatives.
“We continue to have dialogue,” Amaro said Sunday. “That’s really all I can say about it. We like the player. We wouldn’t be talking to his agents if we didn’t. It’s one of those open-market things. Everyone has limits. We’ll have to see where it goes.”
As far as the Yankees are concerned, they like Castillo at second base according to reports, which separates them from the majority of teams interested in the Cuban outfielder. During his workouts for major league squads, Castillo did showcase his skills at shortstop.
The Yanks have gotten next to zero production from second base this season and the acquisition of Stephen Drew hasn't worked out like general manager Brian Cashman had hoped.
Castillo does have a fair amount of hype surrounding him, but nobody knows for certain if he'll be like his Cuban predecessors that have taken the league by storm in recent years.
One thing is for certain: Castillo is the last chance the Yankees have at creating a spark to get them to October for what is otherwise an inept offensive team.
Don't be surprised to see the Bronx Bombers come away with him, perhaps more out of desperation than anything else.
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