The Latest On Cuban Defector/Free Agent Rusney Castillo


According to write Jesse Sanchez, 27 year-old free-agent and Cuban defector Rusney Castillo worked out for the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. But there is more:

It was made known that 28 of the 30 Major League Baseball organizations sent scouts and/or player development personnel to Castillo’s workout at the University of Miami last week. Of course, the Seattle Mariners were among them.

Castillo stands at 5 feet 9 inches, and has been given a whole variety of scouting reports. Some liken him to Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Kenny Lofton. Others look for him to be predominantly a 4th outfielder.

Looking at the list of teams he stands to workout with– at this point three teams– the Mariners are in a curious position. Lumped with the Red Sox and the Phillies, the Mariners are the least financially equipped to make an offer Castillo simply cannot refuse. However, the Mariners do have the incentive of Robinson Cano in a Mariners uniform. Not only does that legitimize the potential of this Mariners organization, it also means Castillo would have a fellow Roc Nation player to stand by.

Castillo could certainly play a role in Seattle this season. If he were signed soon and spends a few weeks in the Minors, he could be a September call-up when the rosters expand, giving him a chance to help a team in a potential playoff push.

It remains unclear what sort of impact Castillo would have on any team he signs with. And his age, at 27, is a bit of a concern if he isn’t Major League ready by 2015 Spring Training.

I don’t think teams expect him to be the next Yasiel Puig or mash it like Jose Abreu up in Chicago. But he could very well provide good depth for the Mariners organization, especially in an outfield void of professional hitters.