The number of teams chasing Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo has reportedly come down to six, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Those teams are the Red Sox, Tigers, and Giants, while the Yankees, Phillies, and Cubs are not expected to be the high bidder.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 20, 2014
It is expected that Castillo will earn around what Jose Abreu got in the offseason, a six-year, $68 million deal from the White Sox instead of what Yasiel Puig got from the Dodgers, 7-years, $42 million. The need for young, outfield talent for those clubs is evident and with the recent success of Cuban signings, Castillo could be paid even more than the right-handed power hitter, Abreu.
The Giants did not have a single prospect in the top-50 of any midseason prospect lists, and while Castillo is already 27, he could provide them a guy with four tools and is already in his peak years. Quickness, youth and energy are necessities for the aging Giants as they try to stay relevant in the league and avoid the rebuilding process.
Castillo, who stands at 5’8”, around 200 pounds and bats and throws right-handed has all the tools that could turn him into one of the better players in the league. He has incredible bat speed, with potential 20 home run power, above average speed on the bases and outfield, while he is amazingly versatile in the field. He can either play all outfield positions or middle infield for a big league club, although it is known that is outfield defense is much more advanced than his infield. With the Giants, they could even use him at second-base if they want to sure up that position and then maybe move Brandon Belt to left field and Buster Posey to first base. This would leave Joe Panik as a bench possibility and possibly re-sign Michael Morse for bench depth.
Castillo would be a sensible player for the Giants, as he needs little to no time in the minors to become comfortable. Whichever team signs him, don’t be surprised if he is making an impact with a club in the month of September. Castillo is expected to make a decision by next week.