The Boston Red Sox won the bidding for Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, who is expected to join the team this season. ESPN reported that the 27-year-old will be in Boston on Saturday to have a physical.
The Red Sox and Castillo have agreed on a seven-year, $72.5 million contract, multiple outlets reported. The contract is a record for a Cuban player, topping the six-year, $68 million deal slugger Jose Abreu agreed to last year with the Chicago White Sox.
Castillo defected from Cuba in December and stayed in shape in Haiti. He started working out for major-league teams in July, and the Red Sox were one of the more aggressive teams vying for Castillo's services. It has been reported that the Detroit Tigers also were very active in trying to gain Castillo's services.
Castillo will join a Red Sox outfield that already includes another Cuban defector: Yoenis Cespedes. With the recent demotion of center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and 34-year-old Shane Victorino having back surgery, there should be plenty of opportunity for Castillo.
The scouting report on Castillo touts the 5-foot-9, 200-pounder as an athletic outfielder with similar skills as Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, minus the power. Castillo has above-average speed and an average throwing arm.