As was expected, the Rusney Castillo sweepstakes has become a mess of rumors and speculation that hasn't come to an end just yet.
Yesterday, it looked like Castillo was going to the Chicago Cubs, per ESPN's Buster Olney.
Two folks involved in the Rusney Castillo bidding view the Cubs as the most likely team to land him. Just their educated guesses.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) August 19, 2014
Now comes word that the Cubs aren't even seen as finalists to land the Cuban defector, as ESPN's Jayson Stark reports the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers are favorites to come away with Castillo:
As the pursuit of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo reaches its final days, several clubs told ESPN.com on Wednesday that they believe the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants have emerged as the likely finalists in a rapidly escalating bidding war.
Also noted by Stark's report is that a bidding war is going on and that is driving up the price for Castillo.
Stark says that Castillo could net around $50-60 million in his deal over five years, which would fall just behind Jose Abreu's record-setting six-year, $68 million contract, the most ever for an international amateur free agent.
Such a bidding war was always in the cards considering there was plenty of interest from many teams around Major League Baseball from the start. Scouts and their teams want to land the next big thing from Cuba and are hoping that they are right with Castillo.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would love to bring Castillo to the Bronx, but perhaps for less than what Stark is reporting. New York likes Castillo at second base, which puts them at odds with just about every other team involved with him.
But Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Yankees aren't likely to be on the higher-end of the bidding war, along with the Cubs and Phillies:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 20, 2014
Yankees fans would like to see a bit more urgency in the hunt for Castillo. After all, the Yankees have an abysmal offense that has been this team's biggest weakness in 2014, even with 80 percent of their starting rotation missing at one point.
Castillo represented the last chance at an offensive spark for the Yankees this season, but unless Rosenthal is wrong and the Yankees are one of the high bidders, it looks like the Cuban outfielder won't be making an impact in pinstripes this season.
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