King: Yankees to scout Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo tomorrow

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Via George King: The Yankees will be among the teams to watch Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo at his showcase in Miami (at Alex Rodriguez Park!) tomorrow. “He reminds me of (Dayan) Viciedo, not with the power, but with the way he plays and he has very good speed,” said one scout. “He is not (Yasiel) Puig. Some teams think he is a fourth outfielder but others believe he can be more.”

Castillo, 27, has already been declared a free agent by MLB and is free to sign. He is represented by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. “Castillo has good strength for his relatively short stature and is an athletic player whose best tool is his plus-plus speed … Castillo can sting the ball from the right side of the plate, projecting as a line-drive bat who hits a lot of doubles and triples rather than home runs. He’s an aggressive hitter with good bat speed, though his swing can get long at times and he will expand his strike zone,” wrote Ben Badler recently. Here’s the obligatory highlight video.

Because of his age, Castillo would not count against a team’s international signing pool, not that it matters for the Yankees at this point. They haven’t signed a big name Cuban player since getting burned by Jose Contreras, though they did show serious interest in Aledmys Diaz earlier this year and appear to be ready to get back into the market. I have no idea what kind of contract Castillo will command or if he makes sense for the Yankees, who already have two low-power outfielders signed for big bucks long-terms. Either way, they’ll be on hand to see up close this weekend.

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  • TopChuckie

    I don’t know, seems like a no brainer to me. Yanks need a RH hitting OF and an SP or two, and hopefully don’t want to give up the farm. Here’s an opportunity to potentially get one of them for just money, and save the prospect resources for the SP(s).

    • Rick

      I agree on the just money part, but let the scouting department. Badler has also said this … “Scouts don’t expect him to have the impact of Yasiel Puig or Yoenis Cespedes in the majors and that there’s a question of whether he’ll be an everyday player or a fourth outfielder.”

      Everyone clamored for Diaz a couple of months ago and then killed the Yankees for passing on him. What exactly is he doing now?

      • Preston

        He’s actually hit quite well .291/.311/.453, in limited time, 34 games in AA. He’s been out with a shoulder injury and scouts say he projects as more of a 2b than a SS now.

        • Dalek Jeter

          “scouts say he projects as more of a 2b than a SS now.” If we’re talking about who I think we’re talking about, wasn’t that the thought before he signed? That it was at least a good possibility he’d project as 2b?

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      Well we don’t know that he’d be a good “hitting” RF. Viciedo kinda sucks and a Viciedo without power really sounds like shit.

      • TopChuckie

        “Viciedo without power” sounds like shit, “Brett Gardner with power” sounds awesome. Fact remains, all it takes to find out if he can help is money.

        Yanks have a need, we prefer they don’t give up the prospects we are attached to, they probably have an attachment too, although they probably have an attachment to their money too, but an opportunity has dropped into their lap.

        Even if they want to chase Byrd or someone else, doesn’t hurt to have other options. Byrd’s no more guaranteed to be a difference maker than Beltran or McCann were when signed. He can disappoint as well.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          ““Viciedo without power” sounds like shit, “Brett Gardner with power” sounds awesome. Fact remains, all it takes to find out if he can help is money.”

          This doesn’t make sense. Gardner without power is good. Not sure what you’re trying to say, but it was poorly done.

          I’m with you on signing him because whatever – there’s a shot he’s something, but I wouldn’t pencil him in the lineup since the scouting report doesn’t sound very impressive. Some teams are considering him a 4th OF and the player used as a comp isn’t good.

          • Skool of rock

            He’s talking about perception. Gardner+power sounds better than Viciedo-power even if they approximate the same thing.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

              What? They don’t approximate the same thing at all.

              It has nothing to do with perception. My point is that if Castillo is what Viciedo is, with or without power, than that’s bad because Viciedo sucks. Very simple.

              • TopChuckie

                My point he’s been described by scouts both ways, one is a hell of a lot more appealing than the other, and both carry the same amount of validity, or lack there of. If someone wants to dismiss him by pointing out he was called “Viciedo without the power”, I am countering with the fact he was also called “Gardner with power”, and that is nothing to be dismissive about.

              • Rick

                Definitely agree with you. I’m totally lost on the comparison being made above.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    While Rusney is interesting, “Castillo” leaves a lot to be desired.

    60 name tool at best, and that’s a little generous.

    • Daniel

      It would make a world of difference if it were Castilla and not Castillo. I agree totally.

  • Daniel

    Ok, so now it’s that the Yankees don’t want to give up “both” Clarkin and Jagielo for Kennedy but they will give up one? I don’t even like the sound of that. I’m sure people will say I’m guilty of overvaluing our guys but I am unwilling to part with Jagielo, Refsnyder, Judge, and Clarkin unless it’s a top guy we’re getting back.

    • Bret The Hitman

      The fact nearly one month of negotiations with the Padres (you know IPK’s name surfaced a least a handful of times) resulted in a deal for Headley alone, I suspect the Yankees/Padres are world’s apart on IPK, thus the need to restrict the deal to Headley, keep him separate and move him. It seems the Padres were far less motivated to move IPK and the asking price seems a bit inflated.

      I keep thinking Cliff Lee is the real target and IPK is a hedge. I just hope if we get Lee that the Phillies are eating a healthy chunk of his paycheck. There is potentially a huge difference between Cliff Lee starting game 1 of a playoff series vs. IPK.

      • TopChuckie

        I agree Lee is probably the top target but I hope the Phillies don’t pick up any of the salary because that means the Yanks will be paying a lower prospect price. I would miss Gary Sanchez, I won’t miss the money.

        I also think the bad contract factor is a big reason why Lee is the Yanks top target.

        • Bret The Hitman

          I never considered the prospect cost from your angle. I still just think we already have too many bad contracts: Arod, Tex, CC, now possibly Tanaka. McCann + Beltran show great potential to join them as well. The market for Lee is so limited due to his contract. The HgH testing has left a ton of bad contracts in its wake on many big fish buyers. I suspect there will be some restraint and the Yankees can maybe leverage that caution and add Cliff Lee cheaply. It’s tough to know the difference in prospect cost either route and one would think the Yankees have a restriction on certain prospects neither of us would want to see go in a Cliff Lee deal. It will be interesting but I’m glad I found someone here who agrees Lee is the guy.

          • Scott

            First off, anyone can have Jagielo. Judge, Severino, Ref and Clarkin I would hold onto, unless the Yanks were getting back someone much better than IPK.

            As for Lee, no way in hell I take that guy for anyone. Then the Yanks are stuck with a 36 year old pitcher, coming off an elbow injury, making $25mm a year for another year plus some kind of weird vesting option for 2017. And I don’t think he likes the Yanks. Keep that douchebag in Philly.

  • Chip

    How about Adam Dunn?

    The OBP and OPS are back up – he’s demolishing RHP. He’s not a good defender anywhere but they can play him a little at 1b with Tex hurt and in RF. Figure he costs the Yankees a mid level guy like Taylor Dugas.

    • Bret The Hitman

      He’s not very versatile with the bat. I think Headley is more the type of hitter the Yankees are profiling for this offense. Beltran + Ellsbury fit the mold as well. Granderson, Swisher and Martin were all shipped out for being too one-dimensional. I would say Dunn is not a target.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

        In what way was Swish one dimensional?

        • Bret The Hitman

          Swisher was a HR or nothing hitter. Look at him now. .215 BA with a heap of K’s. Swisher swung for the fences whenever he did swing.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

            He never even hit 30 HR with us and he wasn’t one dimensional whatsoever. He took pitches and got on base. It had nothing to do with them not bringing him back. That was all contract and 189.

            • Bret The Hitman

              189 had something to do with it but I believe cutting ties with Swisher, Granderson + Martin was part of a concerted effort to change the complexion of the lineup and add more versatile hitters who can do more with the bat. Martin is the only one of the 3 performing well since leaving so he must have caught the infection. It was time for a change.

              • Preston

                Well how is that working out for us? In 2012 the Yankees were 2nd in MLB in runs with 804, 4 behind the Rangers. In 2013 we were 16th with 650, this season we’re 24th and on pace to score 640 runs. And how is Granderson not performing well, he has a wRC+ of 115. Martin was a 4 WAR player last season and has been even better this year. And Swisher’s been bad this season but he would have been the second best offensive player on the team last season had he stayed and I’d rather bet on him bouncing back next year than have an aging Beltran. Maybe we should go back to looking for that type of player.

              • ac1

                As we are talking about RF and back up first basemen, what about Swisher?

            • trr

              Plus the fact he was a complete asshole.

      • Chip

        Dunn’s OBP is what separates him from guys like Granderson. He’s getting on at a .333 clip this season and providing power that this team is desperate for. Without Tex, the only Yankee batter with more than 10 HR is Brett Gardner – they need a slugger.

        • Bret The Hitman

          I agree they need a slugger but hope they prefer one who can do other things, hit the ball with some frequency for one and hit to all fields, put the ball in play, like Beltran and Headley.

          • Chip

            Dunn is hitting .230 with a .366 OBP and .802 OPS.

            Avg – same as Headley (pre trade) 8 points higher than Beltran.

            OBP – 70 points higher than Headley, 100 points higher than Beltran

            OPS – 150 points higher than both

            • Bret The Hitman

              The fact Beltran is breaking down and Headley has been battling a bad back doesn’t make a .230 hitter any more desirable in my eyes.

              • Chip

                He’s not just a .230 hitter though. His .366 OBP would be the highest on the team – 9 points higher than Gardner, 13 points higher than Ellsbury. His .802 OPS would be 20 points higher than the next highest Yankee (Gardner).

                • nyyankfan_7

                  Chip your facts are getting in the way of his perfectly awesome opinion.

                  • Chip

                    hahahaha

                  • Bret The Hitman

                    You mean Chip’s undying fantasy for an overpaid one-dimensional scrub is getting in the way of my perfectly awesome opinion.

                • Bret The Hitman

                  I don’t want his K’s, Chip. I want someone who can both get on base and make the lineup more circular (drive in guys who get on base, hit with RISP, etc)

                  • Chip

                    You’re not getting a perfect player at the trade deadline. Dunn brings necessary power and OB skills to a team that lacks both and shouldn’t cost them more than a mid level prospect.

                    • Bret The Hitman

                      And you’re not getting an overpaid one-dimensional piece of crap, so we’re even I guess.

                  • Preston

                    Dunn gets on base, and Ks aren’t really any worse of an out. Sure you can have productive outs, but you can also ground into double plays. BA isn’t really a great measure, he gets fewer hits than Ichiro, but I’d rather have Dunn’s hit’s because they go over the wall or in the gaps and score runs more runs.

                  • Rick

                    You want a guy who can get on base and make the lineup more circular? So you want exactly what Adam Dunn does, but you don’t want Dunn. You can’t cite to his .230 batting average as evidence that he doesn’t get on base when his OBP is .366 – you know the thing that measures how frequently he gets on base.

                • Rick

                  The fact that some people still look only at a player’s batting average is extremely discouraging. Sigh.

                  • Preston

                    I mean, I just don’t get why people don’t like Ichiro, he’s hitting .278, unlike that one dimensional .231 hitting Teixeira.

          • No 2013 again

            So you want a guy who hits for power and average? A complete hitter if you will?

            And which team is supposed to be sellin those guys?

            ps. Beltran and Headley are far away from this mold this season

            • Bret The Hitman

              I’ve stated in previous threads I would target Matt Kemp. Maybe the ‘Kemp’ part of his name implies he will grow overweight and borderline obese and eat his way out of professional sports. Kemp is 29, still young enough to overcome his injuries, except for the shoulder is a concern. But didn’t Justin Upton have a shoulder issue as well? Hanley Ramirez?

              Furthermore, I’d want to dump Brian McCann in that deal so that we’re not paying an extra 21 million dollars/year. McCann was supposed to be a more complete hitter than he has been. He’s hitting straight into the shift since he arrived. His Tex impression is uncanny. Tex is another complete hitter who came here and became a homer-happy pull guy defenses can game.

              My hope is the short RF porch would play to Kemp’s strength to the opposite field and make him stay in longer in his AB’s.

              • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

                So you want to trade McCann for Kemp? Seems likely.

              • Old Man Time

                LOL

              • Rick

                Trading McCann for Kemp might be one of the worst trade proposals that RAB has ever seen.

              • Spaceman spiff

                Again, there is zero chance McCann gets moved this season so please stop suggesting it.

    • Travis Lincoln

      Dunn in RF? LOLwut?

      • Chip

        Not ideal – clearly. But RF in Yankee Stadium isn’t all that challenging and Joe can use Ichiro as a defensive replacement. Remember he played Soriano out there so…

        Plus I’m sure Dunn will get time at 1b.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

          What you’re saying is totally insane.. but I’m into it. Ef it, go get him. He’d be a horror show in RF, but he’d be entertaining to watch at the plate.

          • Dalek Jeter

            Agreed, at least Yankee Stadium RF is tiny…and I’d sort of love to see Dunn crush some balls into the third deck.

            (Yes, this team is so power starved that I’m actually on board for 2014 Adam Dunn)

            • Chip

              What’s insane is that he would immediately have the highest OBP, SLG and OPS on the Yankees if he came here.

              Yeah, I know it would be a disaster in RF – just gotta hope the bat provides more runs than the glove costs. Plus, hey, legit back up 1b!

              • nyyankfan_7

                Would he be anymore of a train wreck in RF than the Soriano and Beltran show were earlier this year?

                • ac1

                  yes, because Beltran was at least familiar with playing rf everyday, even if he made a few mistakes. Soriano was a left fielder so he was familiar with the OF. Dunn is slow and unfamiliar with the OF.

                  Plus when Tex returns, we have yet another DH on the bench. Who exactly will he be replacing?

                • Preston

                  Yes, the last time he played the OF regularly was 2009 he had a UZR/150 of -39, he was 29 then, he’s 34 now, it would be a disaster.

  • John C

    I’d pass on Castillo. The real prize is this offseason when Yasmani Tomas will be eligible to sign. This guy has ridiculous power, according to scouts. Has been compared to Cespedes. Yanks should be all over him when he is eligible to sign

    • Preston

      His bat is compared to Cespedes, but Cespedes is a great athlete, Tomas is not.

    • TopChuckie

      One doesn’t rule out the other, not in the Yankee Universe. Plus they need a bat now.

  • Bret The Hitman

    The scouting of Castillo points to a desire to address RF where I think Beltran may be done. They need to return value on that contract and keep him healthy. So you can just sense a permanent move to DH. If Castillo isn’t signed, RF obviously remains a need they want to address. Obviously you always have to target multiple options so I wonder who else is a target for RF. Dominic Brown? Matt Kemp? Martin Prado?

    • TWTR

      Probably Byrd, although he likely wouldn’t be worth the price, and his contract isn’t great given the vesting option, which he will probably be halfway toward triggering after this season:

      14:$8M, 15:$8M, 16:$8M club option
      2016 option guaranteed with 600 plate appearances in 2015 or 1,100 PAs in 2014-15, including 550 PAs in 2015

      But he’s 36, so he would fit right in.

      • Bret The Hitman

        You may be right but this post makes me want to swallow a bottle of Prozac.

        • TWTR

          I prefer illegal drugs. (j/k)

        • Old Man Time

          Now you know how we feel reading your Kemp for McCann obsession.

  • ANTHONY

    Dont do it! Just another guy whos going to hit 10 hrs and bat 260 and steal 20-40 sb no production we need power ….

  • Dalek Jeter

    Obligatory SIGN ALL TEH CUBANS post

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I’m ready, Cashman.

  • JLC 776

    Pretty much every time one of these posts pop up, these are the thoughts in my head: “It’s not my money. Screw it – sign him.”

  • Alfredo

    I like Castillo but that’s mostly due to the fact that I’m Cuban, and I would like to see another Cuban wearing Pinstripes again. I also think he will bring some much neded swager to this team.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Que vola, acere?!?

  • frank

    I think soler will end up being a huge miss b/c they were at least in it until the end for him from what reports say. Puig is obviously a huge miss but it sounds like not many teams had seen him before he signed. Soler has recently been a monster and is still so young.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I heard he’s like a young Brett Gardner with a coupld of tostones in his pocket.

  • Dave G

    Mike—sorry I put up a wrong email address earlier, not intentional.

    Name is Dave G or Dave_G Car salesman.

    email–dguarn303@aol.com