Jul
30

Update: Yankees invite Rusney Castillo for private workout next week

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Wednesday: The Yankees invited Castillo to their Tampa complex for a private workout next week, reports George King. Andrew Marchand says they should not be considered the favorite to sign him, for what it’s worth.

Monday, 1:43pm: The Yankees are one of three teams that have scheduled a private workout with Castillo, according to Ben Badler. Balder says Castillo is likely to sign within two weeks.

1:00pm: Via Ken Davidoff: The Yankees sent a contingent of four to watch Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo’s showcase in Miami over the weekend. Those four: international scouting director Donny Rowland, international cross-checkers Gordon Blakeley and Dennis Woody, and pro scout Jay Darnell. Their level of interest in unknown. Twenty-eight of 30 teams were in attendance.

Castillo, 27, was said to have an impressive workout with the caveat that it was only a workout, not game action. Walter Villa has an excellent breakdown of the day. Castillo worked out in the outfield and at shortstop, but Villa says the consensus is that he won’t stick at short and his arm isn’t right field caliber. He showed good speed and surprising pop from the right side. “I like him, he’s a Major League player,” said one scout while another estimated he would sign for $25-35M. I have no idea whether he is worth that money or a good fit for the Yankees.

  • JLC 776

    I just like that Jon Heyman describes Castillo as, “Brett Gardner with power.”

    Obviously he didn’t get the memo that Brett Gardner is one of the biggest power bats on the Bronx Bombers these days.

    Oh, wait, that’s not a good thing…

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/w.....o-in-miami

    • mitch

      Gardner with more power would be a perennial all star and the type of player that gets a 100mil+ contract

      • JLC 776

        Damn straight! Any team would be crazy to not want a player that fits that mold.

        I hope my sarcasm about the real Brett Gardner literally being one of the Yankee power bats (and that being ‘not a good’ thing because it illustrates the lack of Yankee power) didn’t lead you to think that I was saying this mold of player would be a bad thing.

    • Deep Thoughts

      I hear he profiles as “Stephen Drew with plus-plus free agent options.”

  • Donny

    Any idea what teams didn’t show up? I would be astounded had the Yankees been one of the teams. At a minimum, how do you not perform a little due diligence? Even if you know you don’t have the available money or you know he isn’t a fit, I would think you would find a way to make it work if you came away more impressed than you had anticipated.

    • TopChuckie

      They sent four reps.

    • TopChuckie

      I guess you were referring to why would any other team not send someone? Sorry.

      • Donny

        Yes. Does anyone know what 2 teams didn’t show up?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      The whole point of the post was that…

    • pepes pizza

      The Phillies were one with no reps present.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Thank goodness I just had lunch. White clam pie. MMMM.

        • ropeadope

          White clam pie? Is that a euphemism for something? Curious minds want to know!

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            If you haven’t had a Pepe’s white clam pie fresh out of the oven, you haven’t had pizza.

            • ropeadope

              I haven’t, but it’s now added to my bucket list. Geez, two hours until dinner and you’ve got me hungry already.

      • Donny

        Thank you.

        Not surprised by that given the amount of lunacy displayed by Amaro in the past year plus.

      • JLC 776

        That’s not surprising…

      • Chip

        He’s far too young to interest Ruben Amaro.

  • TopChuckie

    No idea if he’s a good fit for the Yankees? He’s an OF, he’s got surprising pop from the right side, great speed, scouts are calling him a major league player ready to contribute to a pennant race, and most importantly, all he costs is money.

    Who on earth is a better fit for the Yankees right now?

    And he does sound far more like “Gardner with more power” than “Viciedo with less power”. Not a good fit? SMH

    I get none of us have seen him, but we’ve now heard from people who have and who are in the know. There’s no guarantee with any player, Beltran, McCann, Rios, or Rusney, but there is no more logical and appropriate target for the Yankees to take a chance on right now, assuming their scouts are some of the ones that came away impressed.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I think they should do their due diligence for sure, but I’m much more intrigued by how he profiles as a SS than as an OF. If this were a guy who profiled as a 20-25 HR guy, I’d be a bit more excited, but “Brett Gardner with more power” is playing next to Brett Gardner already. He wouldn’t be an ideal long-term fit unless the plan would be to flip one of these guys.

      That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a shot if you really like him, but I don’t know how all-in I’d be on him as outfielder.

      • TopChuckie

        While I don’t put much stock in the SS talk, that is one more thing that makes him a great fit for the Yanks. Maybe with some MLB coaching he could serve as a fall back plan if nothing else were to work out next season.

        And yes, I think adding him for the stretch right now while they need an OF with some RH pop makes a ton of sense, and then if he does well, he provides that much more depth to put together a package for Tulo or whoever in the offseason. Either him, Robertson, or all the other OF’s in the minors would be that much more expendable.

        • TopChuckie

          Meant Gardner, not Robertson. Just finished reading the trade Robertson, insert Betances comments in the last post

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          He apparently took grounders at short during the showcase. He’s clearly trying to market himself at multiple positions.

          Signing him to flip him for Tulo in the off-season is way too Rube Goldberg a move there.

      • pepes pizza

        Its tough to gage though. Puig wasn’t supposed to be this good according to scouts when he came over. Now its Trout, Puig and the rest.

        • pepes pizza

          I can spell Gauge.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Suuuuuuuure.

          • Elements of Stile, 5th ed.

            Then you should know that “guage” isn’t capitalized unless it’s at the beginning of a sentence, or as an entry in a dictionary or encyclopedia, or as part of a proper name, such as Stubs Iron Wire Guage, or Gauge, Inc., or Guage, the por….

            …uh, hmm…heh-heh, well, you get the idea.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Shame on you. This is a family site. We know nothing here about potential adult film actresses a shade under five foot tall.

              The Great Gonzo told me about her. I swear.

              • ropeadope

                We know nothing here about potential retired adult film actresses a shade under five foot tall.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Yasiel Puig and Rusney Castillo are two different human beings. That one overachieved a scouting report has no bearing on what the other would do.

          • pepes pizza

            I agree my point was we know very little without seeing them in game action.

      • pepes pizza

        Kevin Goldstein provided a brief scouting report on Puig: “Physical, plus runner, avg bat, avg power, decent in CF, not a lock to stay there.”

        • Preston

          So that tells you the speed and fielding reports are accurate and that they have no clue what a guys offense will look like based on batting practice and some international game film.

    • mick taylor

      100 percent agree. spend the money.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    They sent four people.

    One for each penis. That’s how good he is. That’s how CUBAN he is.

    • Soylent Greene (formerly Electric Nunez ll)

      Well now, this guy is simply the genetic result of a an equilibrium process in nature that can develop in an enclosed ecosystem (like an island), to offset those ersatz “male” Cubans out there who have NO penises…

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        There is no such thing as a Cuban male with no penis. No such thing. Even trans men who choose not to have the lower half done somehow wake up to about eight inches magically. That’s the power of what we’ve got.

        • pepes pizza

          So thats not a bat in Cespedes hand?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            That’s actually a bat, actually. Look at what’s tucked into his shoe, though.

            • Chris in Maine (Formerly Chris In Maine)

              My nose hurts from the soda that just got launched out when I started laughing.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                My work has been completed, then.

    • Nick M

      Ok then.

    • Sergio

      After they sign Castillo, just go out and acquire Tony Fossas, Rolando Arrojo (or El Duquecito), and Luis Gonzalez and all the current problems in the outfield and pen would be solved. Solid LOOGY, good swing man, and OFer with power.

      I’d suggest Andy Morales for 3B but we’re set there at the moment. Maybe acquire Juan Miranda or Jorge “El Chiclet” Toca to play 1B while Tex is out.

      Get it done Cash.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Well played.

        He’s rested. He’s ready to go. Minnie Minoso for RF.

        • Sergio

          Orestes Destrade or Eduardo Perez might be available to be a backup 1B too.

          Also, trade Brendan Ryan (who looks like an extra on The Sopranos with that chain and haircut) and sign Rey Ordonez.

          This is like a fun Cuban players category in Jeopardy.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Who needs John Danks when you’ve got Ariel Prieto?

            • Sergio

              Bring back El Tiante! He could probably still hide the ball well and deceive some replacement level hitters.

              In all seriousness, speaking of Ariel Prieto, when he first went to a supermarket in the states, he was beside himself upon learning that they sell food specifically for pets in the US.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                The good old days, when someone came over from Cuba and we took them to Xtra supermarket, just to rub it in.

                • Sergio

                  … or Sedanos supermarket or, of course, “El Pobli” (otherwise known as “Publix”).

  • TWTR

    If they think his talent projectable, they aren’t lacking for money.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    According to Ben Badler the Phillies, the Yankees, and the Red Sox have private workouts with him. They could either play him at right, or play him at 2nd and keep Refsnyder at right.

  • TopChuckie

    I think a big question is, if they don’t want to both sign Castillo and trade for an OF, can they determine if they are going to sign him before the trade deadline?

    • Chip

      I would do both – sign him and trade for an OF like Willingham. That way you can rest guys a little more during the dog days.

      • TWTR

        I would take him if he is priced as a salary dump, but that’s it.

        • Chip

          I can’t imagine that Willingham, a 35-year old impending FA, would command much more than a B level prospect like Fred Lewis

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Fred Lewis is, like, a D+ prospect.

          • TWTR

            I would prefer someone younger that they could be part of the team going forward. Willingham’s platoon splits the last few years are very variable. Maybe he has made an adjustment v. LHP.

            2012:
            v. R: .273 .370 .507 .877
            v. L: .231 .356 .564 .920

            2013
            v. R: .205 .342 .372 .714
            v. L: .219 .342 .354 .696

            2014
            v. R: .195 .346 .406 .752
            v. L: 273 .397 .455 .852

  • Chip

    Some of the reviews of the workout are pretty interesting. If the power’s legit and not just a product of facing batting practice then that would certainly pique my interest. Sounds like it did the same to the Yankees as they’re having a private workout with him.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      They’re clearly interested.

      Hey, Mitch’s comment at 1:27 is true. If this is a 20 HR guy with speed and good defense, they should definitely be interested.

      I never got my hopes up with Tanaka. I won’t get them up here. Always take the field.

      • Chip

        Of course – the Yankees could be in it just to keep the other teams honest in terms of price. That said, Cashman would always rather give up money or prospects than money and prospects and if he believes he can get an impact player for just money then he might be able to talk Hal into it.

        If it works out and he’s the goods then the Yankee OF is going to, if nothing else, be damn fine defensively.

  • Chris

    Don’t think he will end up with Yankees. They need a power bat. If this guy were cespedes, great.

    The sox haven’t made a big signing in a bit, so I could see them sprinkling some money here (their outfield is in bad shape.)

    • mitch

      They need a power bat, but more importantly they need good players. Beggars can’t be choosers. In an ideal world you’d have a lineup with an equal blend of speed, contact, power and patience, but the Yankees are in no place to be selective.

      I’m not backing off Castillo because he’s too similar to Gardner and Ellsbury. Those are their two best players. I’ll take a another guy like that regardless of hitting profile.

  • Frank

    If this guy is anywhere as good as he looks, the Yanks almost have to sign him. They need a spark to get fans energized. This team is otherwise not good and very boring. Plus, they missed out on Puig, Abreau, Cespedes and Chapman. Not saying this guy will be on that level, but if he’s anywhere close, they need to get him. That said, I suspect the White Sox, who seem to have a great connection with Cuban players, will be their main competition.

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      Signing someone because they missed out on other guys of the same nationality is how you end up with Kei Igawa.

      • Frank

        That’s a chance you take. They can’t let one bad signing like Igawa stop them from taking another chance. Besides, it’s not like the Yanks have depth in the OF. Unless you’re still holding out hope for the likes of Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott.

        • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

          Let me just reiterate that I was calling out your reasons for why to sign him, which were mostly all dumb, not the concept of signing him.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Who’s that guy, Tinaka? Tanuka?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Nos gusta mucho el deep dish pizza.

      • Sergio

        But only when it’s from Rey’s Pizza, el rey de las pizza, of course.

        P.S. In other latin food related news, “El Pollo Loco” just went public. No, really. Now we can only hope “Ñooo Que Barato!” or “El Dollarazo” are next. This message brought to you by Fox Business Latino.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Isn’t Noooo Que Barato in Hialeah? What was the name of that awful, cheap suit place that used to be there.

          I love me some platano maduro pizza, but those “Cuban pizza” places have zero crust, bad cheese, and sauce that’s WAY too sweet.

          • Sergio

            Ñooo Que Barato is indeed in Hialeah, as is El Dollarazo and Baby Cache.

            As for the “cheap suit place” you’ll need to be more specific, for obvious reasons, since cheap places and Hialeah go hand in hand.

            Speaking of Hialeah, according to wikipedia, Hialeah is no longer the community with the largest Cuban population in the U.S. I would have thought Union City was in the top 20 but it’s not.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Union City has changed quite a bit since the 80′s. We’re still there, but it’s definitely more of a melting pot.

              Tico? Tuco? There was this AWFUL place I was forced to spend long hours at as a kid in Hialeah.

              • Sergio

                Yes, I think you’re referring to Ticos, or at least there used to be a place with a name similar to this near the Mall of Americas (the one in West Miami not Minneapolis).

                Incidentally, I believe “Hialeah” is Native American for “White people used to once live here… no, really” (see: K.C. from K.C. and the Sunshine Band)

          • Sergio

            Also, regarding Hialeah, you can construct a pretty decent battery with just Hialeah born players. Just going off the top of my head, C Bobby Estalella and LHP Gio Gonzalez as your ace. Texas Rangers SP Nick Martinez and C J.P. Arencibia, I believe, were also born or at least raised there.

            If any non-Cubans are reading these comments they no doubt have acquired quite a bit of uesless Cuban-related trivia today, but I’m afraid we’ve gotten too off-topic here and Mike A. is about to lay down the law.

            • bpdelia

              My wife and I bought a motor scooter from gio Gonzales’ parents. They have (had maybe. This was 4 years ago juuuust before he established himself. At the time he’d been traded and up and down like 90 times.)

              The place was just off 79th street in Miami Beach. 3 blocks from crystal beach. Right next to the Quiznos.

              We went in and there were pictures everywhere. My wife was like “is that guy famous?”. And I was like ” nope. It’s never really come together for him like it was supposed to. ”

              Talked to his mother about baseball for like an hour. She gave us an insane deal. Think she was amazingly stoked that someone knew all about her sons thus far disappointing career.

          • W.B. Mason Williams

            Cuban pizza?

            giu da merda, bugiard a ladri!

            Just kidding, sounds delicious

  • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

    If he can’t hit for great power and he doesn’t have an arm for right field, I don’t think he’s a great fit.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    He’s an outfielder with a pulse. That’s convincing enough for me.

    I love Ichiro, but even with all the flaws in this guy’s game, he’ll probably be better.

    Having someone to run out there to give us a legitimate “push” factor to DH Beltran would be great.

    Then again I know next to nothing about the guy.

    Take a long, hard look, Yankee scouts.

  • http://rab.com Michael Cutler

    If Mike Cutler was running the team, this guy would be signed already and I’d have him on a plane to Trenton. .

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

      Who’s got two thumbs and cares what Mike Cutler would do if he was running the team?

      Absolutely no one!

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Don’t fuck with Mike Cutler.

        If Mike Cutler was running the team, he’d somehow have Castillo’s people punt on the bidding war that’s sure to occur when 28 TEAMS come to see you work out, because he wielded his mighty Mike Cutler might and got Castillo to sign on the dotted line.

        Mike Cutler? FIVE penises.

        • TopChuckie

          FIVE penises?!? How do his pants fit?

          Like a glove!

        • http://rab.com Michael Cutler

          Tooshay

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Major props for coming back to this two days later.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Jays also, apparently, had multiple guys at the showcase, but aren’t listed as one of the “private workout teams.”

    I wonder who else sent a small army to view him, and whether that means anything at all.

  • Preston

    I just find it hard to believe in the plus power claims from a 5’8″ guy. Maybe he’s Yogi Berra, but maybe he just looks good in batting practice.

    • Kosmo

      Jimmy “The Toy Cannon“ Wynn was 5´9´´ HOF Joe Morgan was 5`7“

      • Jimmy

        I hear Dustin Pedroia sleeps in a shoebox.

      • http://Riveravenueblues Marty L

        Mickey Mantle was only a shade over 5-10. Don t believe what you see on line.

    • JGYank

      Bat speed is more important imo.

      • Preston

        Longer arms create more bat speed. Just by glancing through the leaderboards, the highest ISO by a guy who is under 5’10″ this season is our very own Brian Roberts. Coming in at number 103 with a .133.

  • kenthadley

    If he can play SS, that’s the kicker. He doesn’t have to play it for 5 years, just one or two until some of the lower level talent comes to play. So if he can even fake SS defensively (see D. Jeter 2011-2014) he’s probably worth the 25-35mil they seem to speculate he’ll get.

  • Jake

    What frustrates me about Gardner atm, that the commentators have been pointing out recently, is that the dude just doesn’t want to run. He gets on base to leadoff an inning and hopes Jeter gets the hit, which hasn’t been happening often this season with men on base. We need something to shake up this offense, Headley was a nice addition but still a bat or two away from having a chance at sneaking into the playoffs.

    • TWTR

      Although he is a very similar play to Ellsbury, that doesn’t hold up on the bases, but I believe he is ahead of last year’s pace.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    I’m just afraid it will be Cespedes-Puig-A random Cuban outfielder cashing in on the trend.

    If he’s Gardner with a little more power and a little less arm, put him in RF starting tonight. Ichiro spells the OFers and works as a PR and defensive replacement.

    (incidentally Ryan needs to replace Jeter more often…I know it has been a cool summer, but come on man–give Jeter a half or 1 1/2 innings off…)

  • Adam

    Of all the Cuban players we get seriously involved in bidding for, of course it’s the guy we need the absolute least. I guess the goal is to get 25-30 homers combined from all our outfielders over the next 5+ years.

  • Kenny

    Well, what exactly was the comment? That he’s a

    “Brett Gardner with more power”

    or

    “Brett Gardner with power”?

    The first might mean he can pop 8-15 hr’s a season. Not bad at all.

    But the second might mean–for those who remember his speed at 22–that he might be … Mickey Mantle-ish. (In which case, sign him up by midnight.)

    • Preston

      He’s 27 his career line in Cuba is .315/.380/.501

      To put that in context Abreu who came over at 26 hit .393/.501/.807, Yoenis Cespedes came over at age 25 hit .334/.420/.629, Alex Guerrero who came over at age 26 hit .316/.406/.586 and he is currently in the minors. He’s not Mickey Mantle, he may be useful, but I find the idea that he has huge power in his 5’8″ frame dubious when he had a .186 ISO in Cuba compared to the .295 put up by Puig and the .414 put up by Abreu. Even a 2b who got beat out by Dee Gordon this spring outslugged him.

  • Terry

    Gardner with 2 HR’s tonight.. 12 on the season. The irony of this post lol

    • TWTR

      Few Yankee players have been dissed as hard as Gardner by Yankee fans.

  • RetroRob

    One of these days again we’ll have our own Cuban. Well, not including that fishy Jorge Steinbrenner fellow.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Fish Fingers doesn’t count. He’s too hipster to be a True Cuban ™

      • Havok9120

        All those darn IPAs.

        • Dalek Jeter

          and the peach infused tequilas in mason jars.

    • Yankee$

      If Rusney was Venezuelan, he wouldn’t deserve his own thread. If he were Domincan, he would be required to post an RAB Commenter Thread on his own blog.

  • TWTR

    Jut freakin’ sign him.

    • Havok9120

      We can hope.

  • Dalek Jeter

    Brett making that “Gardner with Power” description harder and harder to live up to.

    • Havok9120

      Slugging .450 now or somesuch.

    • Yankee$

      Pretty sure that the power comment regarding Rusney is calling Gardner a weakling. I’ve read Rusney probably doesn’t have the power to profile as a RF. It’s sort of like saying Ellsbury is Gardner with more power…although he isn’t.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Brett Gardner is Rusney Castillo with power whuuuuuut.

  • Havok9120

    I like how King says the Yankees aren’t the favorite but also neglects to mention who the favorite actually is.

    He’s quite skilled at generating outraged clicks while covering all the bases.

  • JGYank

    Well ells used to have more power. Gardy still has a 1/3 of the season left. Could reach 20 if he keeps this up.

    • JGYank

      Reply fail to Yankee$

    • RetroRob

      How many more times will he face Darvish? Could be 30.

  • Dorian

    Lol Yankees trying to hold the wolves off by saying “they shouldn’t be considered the favorites”

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    “Yankees invite Rusney Castillo to play right field for the next 6 years.”

    FTFY

  • RetroRob

    So Castillo is Brett Gardner with more power? So he’s Mike Trout?

    • Dalek Jeter

      Basically yes. Apparently.

    • http://Riveravenueblues Marty L

      Ricky Ledee clone with more power.

    • Yankee$

      No, he’s Jacoby Ellsbury with more skin pigmentation.

  • http://Riveravenueblues Marty L

    A Cuban Bubba Crosby? Or for you more “experienced” RAB’ers, the next Kerry Dineen?

    • kenthadley

      Or Jack Reed, or Ross Moschitto, or….

  • BigLoving

    So if he can’t stick at SS does that mean he might be able to handle 2b? Would really love to get a detailed scouting report on this guy to really see what kind of potential he has. Everything has been so vague thus far.

  • Pollyanna

    Brett!!!