Last month, Cuban defector Rusney Castillo worked out at a showcase attended by scouts from nearly every team in the majors. The Yankees held a private workout for Castillo in Tampa last week, where he faced off against Preston Claiborne and Caleb Cotham. According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees are one of the major players for Castillo, along with the Red Sox and the Tigers, and his decision could come within the week.
Castillo started looking over offers on Friday, and could end up landing a contract within the range of six years, $50 million. There is some urgency in the signing, if teams want him to get on the roster this season, as players acquired after August 31 are ineligible to play in the postseason. Furthermore, there are some questions as to whether Castillo could even make that deadline because he only has a visitor's visa at the moment, and he would need a work visa before the end of the month to be cleared.
Although he's mostly played in the outfield, the Yankees seem to think he could make it as a second baseman, and he did spend some time playing second and third base in Cuba. If he does sign with them, the plan would be to start him at second and only move him to the outfield if it was really necessary. Since current second baseman Stephen Drew is only on contract for this season, the Yankees will have an opening at second base. The addition of Castillo could block Rob Refsnyder, though. On the other hand, if they do sign Castillo, he could potentially spend a short stint in the minors and then join the team and take over for Drew. Although we said the same thing about Brian Roberts just a few weeks ago, it's hard to imagine that Castillo (or anyone) could play any worse than Drew is currently. Then again, if the Yankees continue on their recent downward spiral, it won't really matter who is playing second base for the rest of the year. If we're thinking in terms of best case scenarios, then maybe Masahiro Tanaka returns, the team goes on a win streak, the offense finds itself, and Castillo could potentially help the team make a push for the playoffs.
Would you like to see the Yankees sign Castillo even if that means that he blocks Refsnyder at second base?