The Yankees, along with just about every other MLB team (28/30), sent scouts to watch Rusney Castillo workout yesterday. The 27-year-old outfielder defected from Cuba last year, and has finally been cleared to sign with clubs.
Castillo is a 5-foot-9 right-handed hitter, described as having quite a big of speed. During his career in Cuba, he hit .315/.380/.501 with an OPS+ of 128. Following yesterday's workout, scouts said that his arm was his weakest tool, and that he would probably be better suited to play center or left field. Castillo himself has said that he prefers center. He's drawn comparisons to his fellow Cuban defectors, Leonys Martin and Dayan Viciedo, although said to lack Viciedo's power. According to Jon Heyman, Castillo is like "Brett Gardner with power." He seemed to impress with his bat, with one scout even saying that he thought he should have stopped after his second round of batting practice because he didn't think he could improve upon his performance, but that he actually did even better in the next round. After BP, he hit live and sent several balls over the fence and back at the wall.
On a side note: during his two-hour and forty-five minute workout, Castillo reportedly changed outfits (and shoes) numerous times. He also had his handlers towel him off after every few swings, constantly offer him water, and even tie his shoes. The workout did take place at the University of Miami, so it was undoubtedly hot, but that sounds a bit high-maintenance.
Now that his showcase is over, it's believed that teams will be able to start bidding on Castillo, who happens to be represented by Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports. Unlike with Latin American free agents, players defecting from Cuba do not have a dollar limit regarding bids. Depending on the interest, he could received a deal somewhere between Yasiel Puig and Martin's, as Puig received seven years for $42 million and Martin got a deal for 5.5 years for $15 million.
Do you think the Yankees should be in on the bidding and what do you think would be a reasonable deal?