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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Former Boston Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo signs with Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of NPB

Former Boston Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo is headed to play professional baseball in Japan.

The 33-year-old right-handed hitter has signed a contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball. The team officially announced the signing Friday evening.

Castillo became a free agent after the 2020 MLB season.

He initially signed a seven-year, $72.5-million deal with the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 23, 2014, but he spent most of his career at Triple-A Pawtucket.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2021 at 10:52 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, rusney castillo

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   1. puck Posted: January 10, 2021 at 01:46 PM (#5998829)
His last steamer projection (for 2021) was for a 76 RC+. That's not great. Looks like he had an .800+ OPS in AAA once, in 2017. (Career .761 in 1973 PA.) I think Pawtucket was a relatively tough AAA place to hit (definitely compared to the high altitude PCL parks) but .761 still doesn't seem very good.
   2. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 10, 2021 at 05:23 PM (#5998859)
Man, I forgot that contract. Makes Darren Dreifort look like a reserve clause-era contract.
   3. asinwreck Posted: January 10, 2021 at 05:35 PM (#5998861)
His extended limbo in Pawtucket would make a good subject for Charlie Kaufman's first-ever sports film.
   4. puck Posted: January 10, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#5998869)
Surprisingly, googling "biggest cuban busts" got me a list of articles about failed Cuban baseball players. Here's a top 10 from a fansided slideshow. There's more of these failsures than I remembered, but $72 million seems like the biggest contract. I remember Jose Abreu signing a large contract but it's probably safe to say that worked out.

1. Castillo
2. Hector Olivera, LA, 6/62.5M
3. Yasiel Puig, LA, 7/42M
4. Alex Guerrero, LA, 4/28M
5. Erisbel Arruebarrena, LA, 5/5M
6. Yoslan Herrera, Pittsburgh, contract not listed
7. Yoan Lopez, Arizona, 8.27M bonus
8. Dayan Viciedo, White Sox, 4/10M
9. Yunesky Maya, Washington, 4/6M
10. Leslie Anderson, Tampa, 4/3.75M
   5. baxter Posted: January 10, 2021 at 07:06 PM (#5998870)
Poor Puig, not only a bust, but 3rd biggest ever. 18.9 WAR for $47.9 mil one hell of a bust definition.
Schwarber who can't field or run gets $10 mil for a year; is that a bust too?
   6. puck Posted: January 10, 2021 at 07:29 PM (#5998875)
Yeah, I didn't get Puig's inclusion on that list. He didn't hold up to early promise, but he's nothing like the rest of the list.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2021 at 07:30 PM (#5998876)
Poor Puig, not only a bust, but 3rd biggest ever. 18.9 WAR for $47.9 mil one hell of a bust definition.

I would say Puig was a bust, but his contract wasn't. If you put up more career WAR before 24 than after, you're generally a bust of some sort.
   8. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 10, 2021 at 07:35 PM (#5998879)
Calling Puig a bust is spectacularly stupid to the point of not even being wroth arguing about.

One of the interesting things about Castillo is that the Red Sox writers have really raved about him. By all accounts he was great with the other players in Pawtucket, never stopped working hard and despite his circumstances seemed hell bent on being as good as he could be. I can’t help but wonder how his career would have been different if he’d not been shunted aside by the Cuban National Series for being insuffiiently patriotic then not gotten hurt when he came to the US. He basically missed his age 25 and 26 seasons.
   9. The Duke Posted: January 10, 2021 at 09:47 PM (#5998893)
Olivera’s story was a disaster - how was everyone so wrong about him or did the three year layoff just ruin him ?
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2021 at 09:58 PM (#5998896)
Noel Arguelles should be on that list. He was the Royals' big splash into Cuban FA, got $7M, and never pitched higher than Double-A.
   11. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2021 at 10:11 PM (#5998900)

I propose this be added to the bbtf classic misspelling lexicon, next to hilaripus and pwned, to be used henceforth and forthwith. Is there a better way to describe a Rockies FA signing than a "failsure"?
   12. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2021 at 10:14 PM (#5998902)
Where's Yasmany Tomas? -2.5 career WAR for $68.5 M

EDIT: Seems the Nats have signed him to a minor-league contract. Still 3 years of arb left! :-)
   13. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2021 at 10:25 PM (#5998904)
Per Cots, Jose Abreu's original contract was 6/$68. It had a $10 M signing bonus and guaranteed him $24 M for 2014-16 then either 3/$34 or he could opt into arbitration. He went into arbitration (never made it to an actual arbitration) and ended up getting $40 for those 3 years. He then accepted the $18 M QO which got negotiated into a 3/$50 extension covering 2020-22. So that brings the total through 2022 to $124 for 24 WAR and counting. He put up a staggering 3.1 WAR in 2020 and won the MVP so it seems likely he'll be adding to that.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2021 at 11:36 PM (#5998915)
Among the more recent Cuban signings ("recent" being vague), the WAR leader is Yunel Escobar who is at 27 WAR and a much better player than I recalled. Mostly a SS, he was a solid hitter and, in his early years, Rfield gives him good defensive marks.

Then Abreu at 24; Cespedes at 22; Alexei Ramirez at 21; Puig 19; Grandal 18; Aroldis 18; Jose Fernandez 14 in just 4 years; Jose Contreras 13; Kendrys 13; Jose Iglesias 12; Leonys Martin 11; Yuli Gurriel 10. Among younger guys, Moncada and Luis Robert are the most likely to go zooming up the list. Lourdes Gurriel Jr has been a pretty good hitter but poor defense leads to just 2.7 career WAR and he's turning 27 so not likely to reach 20 WAR. (To be clear, that's born in Cuba ... Jose Fernandez for example went to HS in Fla and was drafted.)

There are of course plenty of older Cuban-born players who put up much more WAR -- Escobar is 14th overall. Obviously most of these younger guys haven't had a chance yet to pile up really big numbers but these guys aren't blowing the doors off. By contrast, there are 9 DR-born and 6 Venezuela-born players who debuted in 2005 or later and have matched/exceeded Escobar's 27 WAR (Cano by far the best; King Felix next). Acuna and Gleyber are the most promising young Venezuelans and FTjr, Willy Adames and Eloy Jimenez probably the most promising young DR players which seems about equal to Robert and Moncada (if Robert turns out as well as expected).
   15. JJ1986 Posted: January 11, 2021 at 06:47 AM (#5998931)
Yasmani Grandal and Jose Fernandez were draft picks.
   16. asinwreck Posted: January 11, 2021 at 08:11 AM (#5998936)
Viciedo wasn't good, but 97+ OPS over almost 500 MLB games isn't the worst value a team has gotten for $10 million.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: January 12, 2021 at 11:52 AM (#5999239)
I'd like to read a Rusney biography at some point in the future.

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