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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Reversal of Fortune: Rusney Castillo’s Megadeal With Red Sox Traps Him in Minors

Seven miles north of Fenway Park, Rusney Castillo slides into the driver’s seat of his rented black Maserati Ghibli. It’s 7 1/2 hours before first pitch, but Castillo has learned the rhythms of game days in the U.S. after the Red Sox signed him to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal in 2014. Playing for his hometown Ciego de Ávila Tigres of the Cuban league, the outfielder would show up an hour before the game. Now he tries to beat his teammates to the park.

Dressed head to toe in Nike gear and wearing a gold chain with his diamond-encrusted initials, he wheels from the garage of his apartment building onto Route 1 toward Boston. Then, 10 minutes later, he drives past the exit for Fenway Park.

If he made less money, perhaps Castillo would turn off there. But due to a rule that confuses even Castillo, the Red Sox are paying him so much that he can’t play for them. So he continues along I-93 and then I-95 on his 50-mile commute to Pawtucket, R.I., home of the Triple A Red Sox. The highest-paid player in the minor leagues has made this drive more than 200 times, over five years. He knows he will make it another 70 or so in 2020, the final year of his contract. But he keeps his three-bedroom apartment in Boston because he believes that he belongs there—and that someday he will play there.

In August, Castillo won his second straight PawSox MVP award. In the four seasons since his last demotion, he has batted .294 and slugged .429. Manager Billy McMillon regularly advocates for the 32-year-old Castillo when he speaks to the player development officials. But no matter how well he performs, he will remain at McCoy Stadium, ensnared by a tax loophole no one could have foreseen. Through an interpreter Castillo explains matter-of-factly, “Anybody can [hope to] be called up but me.”

The more and more I hear about the current CBA and its details, the more and more I suspect that things won’t go well the next time it comes up for renewal….

QLE Posted: September 19, 2019 at 12:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, luxury tax, red sox, rusney castillo

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

M.L.B. and Players’ Union Set to Begin Early Labor Talks - The New York Times

“What you see going on here is really a distribution issue, how the players want salary distributed. How salary is distributed among our teams is an issue that systems can be designed to address.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2019 at 07:36 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, collective bargaining agreement, mlbpa

 

 

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