Aug
09

King: Yankees like Rusney Castillo at second base, want to talk contract

By

Via George King: Following Friday’s private workout at the team’s complex in Tampa, the Yankees want to talk about a contract with Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo. They like him more at second base than in the outfield, which puts them in the minority. Castillo has experience both on the middle infield and in the outfield. The Yankees had scouts from several different departments at the workout.

“This guy could get $35M to $50M because of what (Jose) Abreu, (Yoenis) Cespedes and (Yasiel) Puig have done, but eventually somebody is going to be wrong about one of these guys,” said a scout to King. Another pointed out “the league he played in Cuba wasn’t great but there is momentum, who knows?”

Castillo, who hit against the rehabbing Preston Claiborne (shoulder) during the workout, has already been declared a free agent by MLB and unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, so he is free to sign at any time. He has also had private workouts with Phillies, Red Sox, and Cubs, plus the Tigers, Giants, White Sox, and Mariners have shown interest as well. Castillo has been billed a speedy leadoff hitter type with surprising pop.

  • GGooglyBoogly

    Hey, why the hell not?

  • 86w183

    Would be nice to see the Yanks take a flyer on a kid like this. It might mean Refsnyder tries 3B or OF…. or becomes a trade chip.

  • MB923

    I guess Refsnyder to OF (or traded which would come to no surprise)

    • 86w183

      Well they still have to sign Castillo and he has to prove he can handle 2B. It’s a ways off from happening.

      If Refsnyer turns out to be part of a package for Tulowitzki that wouldn’t be the worst result.

      Ellsbury, Gardner, Tulo, Beltran, ARod, Tex, McCann, Prado, Castillo looks like a pretty potent lineup…. a virtual murderee’s row compared to this year’s opening day array.

      • Pkyankfan69

        Ellsbury – CF
        Gardner – LF
        Tulo – SS
        Beltran – DH
        Tex – 1B
        Headley – 3B
        McCann – C
        Prado – RF
        Castillo – 2B

        Yes Please!

    • LazerTown

      Both are questionable as it is to stick as 2B long term. Ref isn’t nearly as valuable in the outfield, but if he can hit anywhere near what he has showed in the minors then he would be fine.

  • NYPOTENCE

    Go get him!!! Drew hasn’t done much to this point and Refsnyder is no sure thing. Might as well have one more option.

  • CarlosRodriguezNeuf

    Should have been signing these players too before IFAs began counting against the luxury tax.

    • 86w183

      Salaries have always counted.. it’s only the posting fees ie:Darvish that were exempt. Certain players — veteran Cubans — are also exempt from the IFA

      • CarlosRodriguezNeuf

        You’re saying that Darvish’s, Puig’s, Cespedes’ salary counts for luxury tax purposes?

        • Evan3457

          Yes.

  • Pkyankfan69

    I’m not going to complain about the Yankees signing young position player talent like Castillo but that would be kind of a bummer for Refsnyder… If we think he’s the real deal let’s go get him!

  • 86w183

    gotta get some things done before game time.

    have a day!

  • bardos

    Signing him would definitely be a media splash and aid attendance figures next season, but it’s gonna cost $$$. We’ll be saying “poor Refsnyder, he came close.” As George King says: “…eventually somebody is going to be wrong about one of” the Cubans.

    • bernbabybern

      That’s my worry, it will be the Yankees.

      • bardos

        Yeah, methinks they are feeling extremely left out, having missed those amazing stars who they didn’t sign. Maybe a bit of pressure to sign anything with a pulse that speaks Spanish…

        • Evan3457

          Otherwise known as the “Igawa Effect”.

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      If he is the real deal Ref would be a decent trade chip in the days ahead.

  • blake

    If their is a chance he can stick at 2b and he can hit then get him……as mentioned in the article though it does feel like we are due for one of these guys to bust……evaluate carefully but if they like him it would be a nice risk

  • Dan A.

    I hope they get him. I like that they want him at infield. Infield is the bigger need, and they’ll be more likely to be able to sign or trade for a power hitter in the outfield than in the infield.

  • Bigdan

    I’ve thought for months now and posted a few times that I think Hal is pining to make a Cuban purchase. I think he feels a little left out and this reflects a bit of his father in him. He doesn’t want the Yanks to be thought of as second class in any way. I think the Yanks looked real hard at the last guy that the Cardinals signed but he just wasn’t very good. This guy, Castillo, seems like he might be the real deal but he’s not the best fit. Apparently he’s really a CF and that’s where most teams feel his value is. But if he can really hit and run, the Yanks may make a strong play. And I don’t think, like with Robertson and Headley and others, next year’s budget will be much of a factor. This, to Hal, is like an “off budget” transaction. Closer to the July 2nd stuff.

    I actually think the other Cuban, Tomas, who may be a free agent in the offseason, may be a better fit. He’s a real corner OF with Abreu type power. But if this guy turns into a Ricky Henderson type, you can’t turn that down.

    • Farewell Mo

      Rickey Henderson type? If he turned out to be 20% of what Rickey Henderson was the Yanks would jump for joy. Henderson had over 100 career WAR.

      • Bigdan

        As a Yankee fan for many decades, Ricky was the best offensive player I’ve ever seen.

  • blake

    The biggest risk is that he will likely require a big league contract…..and that money is on the books even if he doesn’t make it. So with the commitments the yanks already have…..you have to be pretty confident that a guy like this is legit and can play for you if you’re gonna give them significant money.

  • yankeefan91

    Hopefully the scouts that are seen him are the same that saw tanaka. We Need to know if he’s the real deal.

    • blake

      If Cashman comes out and says they see him as a utility infielder then we know he’s for real

      • lightSABR

        “Just looking for some more depth in the minors–you can never have too many middle infielders, you know.”

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        “We see him as a Zelous Wheeler type.”

  • blake

    But if he really did turn out to be Gardner with power who can play 2b then that’s an MVP candidate……

    • Farewell Mo

      This.

  • Brian Cashman

    we have an internal options with Ref but it comes down to a matter of allocating your finite resources. Can that money be better spent elsewhere in addressing what likely to be a multitude of needs again this winter.

    • blake

      Well I think you need to find out from Hal just how finite those resources are…..if Hal wants the budget around 200 million again then they can’t do much……if he will let it get on up around 230 again then they can do some things

      • MTU

        Gonna be more

    • bardos

      Yeah, you know that The Boss would sign Lester and Scherzer.

  • wanzies222

    FWIW, the scouts that I know had a sense that the FO has always liked the idea of Castillo in the IF, more so than in the OF. After seeing him up close, that’s indeed the case. They are also likely in on Tomas, if that ever comes to pass. Internal book on Refsnyder is he still needs work on 2B and hitting soft stuff. He’ll get a long look in ST, though.

    Castillo? Another asset that only costs money. Not a bad plan.

    • MTU

      Yup. Thanks.

      • wanzies222

        Hi Mike,

        I’ll probably get chastised for this, but I got to see Pineda again last night. All reports are accurate… dinks and doinks, not much hard hit. Hit off speed stuff was very good. Stuff was about the same as his last time out, but he displayed a lot more confidence on the mound, IMO. If he’s not ready, he’s sure close.

        • MTU

          Muchas Gracias.
          We should see him next week.

    • Brian Cashman

      if Yanks got the dough for both, then it’s a no brainer to bring in both at the cost of ‘only money’. but if they don’t, I rather be in on Yasmani Tomas who profiled as middle of the order bat. We will see how it plays out.

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      If Castillo is the real deal we can use Ref as part of a package to go after other needs in the off season.

    • blake

      Can he really hit? That’s the question…..if so they can find a place for him to play. It would be a big bonus if he can play 2b…..but Id be making this decision primarily on if I think he can hit or not

      • wanzies222

        Fortunately for us, you’re not making the decision…lol.
        Seriously, everything I’ve heard, he’s the real deal and has pretty good speed and good feet, which is why they like him in the IF.

        • blake

          That was sorta rude……infielders that can field and run but can’t hit are a fine a dozen…..so I really don’t care nearly as much if he can play 2b as I do if he can hit. If he can do both that’s even better

      • GregD

        I agree….he has to hit or we’re wasting our time

        • Bigdan

          Apparently, in several workouts, he’s made an impression that he’s a better hitter, with more power, than originally thought. And if that’s case, as Blake has said, the Yanks can most definitely find a place for him to play.

    • http://riveraveblues.com/ Yankee Trader

      He’s 5’9″ and hits righty. The King article doesn’t mention what he did against Claiborne, and if he can spray the ball to all fields.as you said it’s only money.
      BTW, Adonis Garcia wasn’t playing the last few days. Any clue?

  • http://riveraveblues.com/ Yankee Trader

    Good morning. I think I finally registered for this site correctly. Wanzies-What are the plans then for SS next year if they sign Castillo for second? Trade Refsnyder for one?

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      Tulo

    • MTU

      Sorry I did not get back to you.
      Glad you made it.

      • http://riveraveblues.com/ Yankee Trader

        where is the rest of the Breakfast Club?

        • MTU

          No idea.
          Get back on topic or you’ll get your hand slapped.

    • wanzies222

      Hi YT,
      Nothing definitive. Drew is an option, of course, trades, some midlin’ FA…it will be interesting and good for the blog…lol.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      How about emailing Steve if you only want to talk to him?

    • YakaTanaka

      Check out the free agent market, my friend. This is the off-season to need a SS.

  • GregD

    there aren’t many options on the FA market to improve our offense in the off season…….we are going to have to consider Castillo and Tomas…perhaps that will enable us to risk trading some prospects that we would otherwise keep to bolster the offense even more

  • GregD

    If Castillo hasn’t played the infield before….it would seem that he destined for at least one season in the minors…..therefore no help next year

    • wanzies222

      Hi GregD,

      Actually, he played IF in Cuba some, so there is that.

      Steve

      • GregD

        Hi Steve,

        then maybe he won’t need that much time….if they sign him soon, they could start immediately and send him to winter ball to play second…perhaps for Luis Sojo

  • Mecha Ghidorah

    It’s depressing that the Yanks are pretty much blown out of the division race so these games are meaningless. They are not going out to CA and winning that wild card game.

    • MTU

      Glad you told me so I know which way to bet.

      • MTU

        Guess I can stop watching now also.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      “Depressing” is not how I feel about the Yankees right now at all. Since when is a 5 game lead with more than a month of games left “blown out”?

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      Depressing?? On the contrary, they’re finally playing like a team. Talk to me after the O’s series.

    • OldYanksFan

      I guess you’re right. Can I buy your Mets cap from you?

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      Go back under the bridge.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Hey, Godzilla did play for the Yankees.

  • OldYanksFan

    Prado’s bat plays much better as a middle infielder. I would spend big on a Big Bat for RF…. as (hopefully) Gardner and Ellsbury are here to stay. I think having good D up the middle is more important that trying to find a (maybe) decent bat for 2nd base. We have Ref and Prado. I think 2nd base is a lot better covered than RF.
    The Yankees biggest need is a big bat… and it’s a lot easier to find that in an COFer. YSIII RF isn’t big. We don’t need a defensive star there.
    In terms of adding payroll, I would get one elite SP, a big bat in RF, and the rest of our positions are cover. There are FA SS’s on the market next year, and Drew could be a consideration.
    1) Ellsbury (CF)
    2) Gritner (LF)
    3) Beltran
    4) BIG Bat (RF)
    5) Teix (1B)
    6) McCann (C)
    7) Headley (3B)
    8) Drew, FA (SS)
    9) Prado, Ref (2B)

    ARod (BU3B, BU1B, DH)
    Brains (BUC)
    Ichiro, Zoilo, Anybody (4th OFer)
    Prado, Ref, B.Ryan (UINF, 5th OFer)
    If that BIG bat is truly a BIG bat, that is a VERY solid lineup.
    Stop salivating over Tulo. $20m is much better spent ln SP or RF.
    $20m is to much to spend on Tulo’s bad legs and decline years.
    Not to mention you would be buying high on him… never a good idea.

    • Angelo

      Who and where is this “big bat”? You keep mentioning a big bat for RF, but you’ve stated absolutely no one that fits that role that would be realistically available and attainable.

      Big bats aren’t easy to find right now.

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      You do have a point with Tulo’s health. Rockie’s fans look at Tulo the same way we view our first baseman.

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      Red Sox are salivating over Stanton I would hate to see him in Fenway.

      • MTU

        Not going to happen.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I know my countrymen have been giving strange names to their children, but “BIG Bat” takes the cake for a Cuban defector. Almost sounds like a heel Japanese wrestler.

  • imadominiCAN

    I hope they don’t sign this guy to block refsnyder at second base. What the hell are they thinking? If he can play shortstop by all means go after him but not for him to block ref at second.

    • MTU

      I guess you don’t fully understand the Yankee’s Philosophy.

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      You’re telling me having 2 legit major league 2B wouldn’t be a good thing?

      • Deathstroke Heathcott

        3 if we include Prado, no?

    • Alkaline

      I rather end up the problem of having two legit 2nd baseman than put all my eggs in one basket.

      • YakaTanaka

        Yes.

    • Angelo

      Maybe they’re not super high on Refsnyder. Or they believe Castillo could be a star or just better than Refsnyder. Refsnyder then becomes a valuable trade piece. I like Refsnyder, but he’s viewed as a solid regular by most. Which is very valuable to any team. It would help them fill a spot elsewhere.

      Time will tell. The Yankees obviously see something in Castillo. Can’t just ignore that. The prospect lover in me wants to see Refsnyder play though. I understand how you feel.

      The Yankees still might not get Castillo. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Clearly, proven major league second baseman Rob Refsnyder cannot have any competition at the position.

      • imadominiCAN

        if they sign this guy for big money…there’s not going to be any competition..he will be given a chance to play over refsnyder

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          ….and, if he’s good, what’s the problem with that? Also, if he actually has positional flexibility AND Refsnyder proves to be what some think he is, they can find room for both….or they can simply flip Refsnyder for help elsewhere. Your argument doesn’t hold weight.

          • YakaTanaka

            This.

        • MTU

          the Yankees don’t spend big money these days unless they really want someone.
          Doesn’t get tossed around like in the GMS era.

      • Alkaline

        FishhhyyyFiiiishy.

        But, yes. Don’t understand the blocking Ref comments.

        • YakaTanaka

          It’s the LoHud invasion, I think. I mean there would have been these kind of comments even without them. But with that group it’s like 90% these sorts of comments and 2? 3? commenters with critical thinking skills.

    • RhapsodyInBlue

      And Suppose Stanton is available? We need chips to make trades when they become available, this is a good move for us.

  • Bigdan

    I think this is going to be resolved very quickly. Probably in the next week. It would be interesting to learn whether the Yanks would consider him an option for this season. If he’s signed next week, he could conceivably spend a couple weeks at AAA to see what he has right now.

    • MTU

      There is a lot of competition for this guy’s services.

      • Bigdan

        I could be wrong, but I don’t anything, price, Refs or other teams, will stand in the way of signing this guy if the Yanks truly believe he’s the real deal. It’s sort of like a trophy for Hal.

        • MTU

          Guess we’ll find out.
          I doubt Hal likes bidding wars though.

          • Bigdan

            That’s right. That’s why he blows out the competition from the get go. Like he did with Ellsbury and Tanaka. In that respect, he’s his father’s son.

            • MTU

              I’m not feeling that. But OK. If you say so.

            • RhapsodyInBlue

              Imo he needs to be his father’s son more often.

              • MTU

                Don’t hold your breath.

                • RhapsodyInBlue

                  MTU
                  I share your skepticism. I’ll believe it when I see it.

                  • MTU

                    If he really wants him bad enough. Yeah. He’s ours.
                    Question is, “How bad does he want him ?”
                    Hope the fish are biting for ya’.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                1. Fire and rehire Girardi five times over.
                2. Hire Jeter as manager and fire him after 12 games.
                3. Trade Aaron Judge for Adam Dunn.
                4. Sign career back-end starter to five-year deal because he’ll do better in pinstripes.

                • RhapsodyInBlue

                  Well you missed my point. If the Yankees continue to draft late in the MLB draft they need to offset the difference by being aggressive with international free agent signings. Tanaka was nice but where were they with Cespedes, Puig and Chapman to name a few. The big difference between GS and Hal.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    A tired argument. You have zero proof that GS3 would have had the advantage over the field on any player.

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      Tired argument? Please. You do realize Bernie, Jorge and Mo were all free agent signing? El Duque, Godzilla. And all of the duds George signed that never discouraged him to go back to the well. Things today are different.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      You’re babbling.

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      Is that best you can do?

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      I should be asking you that. Have a good day, breakfast club.

                    • HansDavenport

                      Bernie, Jorge and Mo. Three players George wanted to trade when they were not immediately successful. Seriously.

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      And that does not disprove my point that GS was more aggressive signing free agents. GS traded a lot of players. Different argument. Prufock.

                    • Chris in Maine

                      Jorge Posada was a 24th round draft pick. Not a free agent.

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      You’re right I stand corrected.

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      Ramiro Mendoza was another FA signing from that great team.

                    • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

                      The Bernie and Mo signings really had nothing to do with this argument. They were signed as kids, more akin to all the kids Hal just signed in their IFA spending spree. It’s highly doubtful George even knew who Bernie or MO were when they were signed. George was fond of the shiny new toys. He cared little for 16-year olds years away from the majors.

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      Actually you have no idea if the kids being signed today will ever perform on the level of Bernie and Mo. There seems to be a big difference in the Yankee scouting and developement from those days than there is today imo. We sat back and and watched The A’s sign Cespedes, the Reds Chapman, The Red Sox apparently knew what they were doing when they signed Hanley Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts and Jose Iglisias. as free agents. It just goes to show that the Yankees need to more agressive in signing international free agents if we want to compete in the future.

                    • http://yankees.lhblogs.com/ Need Pitching & Hitting

                      Mo is a HOF and Bernie is a borderline HOF. It’s highly unlikely any of the kids signed this year will reach those levels. That’s not the point.
                      My point was that I don’t think GMS was any more aggressive in IFA for kids than they currently are, and I think he had little or nothing to do with the Mo and Bernie signings.
                      Signing MLB-ready, or near MLB-ready, players like Cespedes, Tanaka, Chapman, Puig, etc, is an entirely different thing than signing 16-year olds with a hope they develop into something useful several years later. GMS may very well have aggressively pursued guys like Cespedes or Chapman, but the fact that the Yankees once signed Bernie and Mo as kids really has nothing to do with anything regarding George liking to make free agent splashes, or his approach as an owner.

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      Cano and Melky both signed as FAs in 2001, Cervelli 2003. Do you know of any players on this current roster signed in recent times? Manny B. and Aceves were signed in 2008 I suppose Hal deserves some credit for those signings.

                    • MTU

                      If you don’t see the differences between Hal and GMS you must have your eyes closed.
                      GMS was passionate. Hal is business-like.
                      GMS wanted all the toys. Hal is value-conscious.
                      GMS demanded accountability. Hal let’s people skate.
                      Etc. , etc.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Hooray for LoHud arguments based on zero fact whatsoever.

                    • HansDavenport

                      So you want to stand in the way of baseless arguments wrought full of emotion, personal opinion, and conjecture? Well, I mean.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      I mean, they’re just the bedrock of what RAB was founded on.

                    • MTU

                      And your arguments are ?

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      You posted at Lohud.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      “I disagree.”

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      I’m open to changing my opinion if you could provide a counter fact based argument other than saying you disagree.

                    • Chris in Maine

                      +1

                  • MTU

                    Yup.

              • Bigdan

                Like all of us, he’s an amalgam. But on the simplest level, he’s George with an MBA in finance.

                • MTU

                  Baloney.

        • YakaTanaka

          You could be wrong? No way… I thought all your predictions of the future were always 100% accurate…

    • http://riveraveblues.com/ Yankee Trader

      Can he play first, or catch?
      McCann out of lineup today, as is Tex whose pinky still hurts.

      • MTU

        Headley.

        • http://riveraveblues.com/ Yankee Trader

          I know it’s only money if they sign Castillo and play him at second. I’m liking Headley more and more as I watch him play, and I’ve always liked Prado. If Prado is your second baseman, and they sign Headley for third, with ARod in all likelihood not retiring, to DH, the Yankees biggest need is still a SS.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Prado could be your RF. Prado could be your Tony Phillips type. Prado could do a lot of things.

            • http://riveraveblues.com/ Yankee Trader

              The only thing with Prado as a corner outfielder is the lack of real homerun power. I guess the Yankees will have to get 30 homers out of Gardner next season!
              I’m not allowed to use emoticons!
              But I’m with you. I like Prado’s versatility and he has been a clutch player in the past with RISP and two outs.

              • YakaTanaka

                He’s really a pretty perfect fit… 2B, 3B, and RF all may or may not be issues for the Yankees next season. Prado gives them an option if one is an issue. If none is an issue, he allows for a true rotating DH situation that older guys like A-Rod and Beltran can probably use even if they’re healthy and productive. (Heck… might help any player even if he’s not older.)

                I don’t think there’s any need to isolate his HR production from the rest of his offensive production. It’s tough to be well above league average offensively without hitting for power, but some guys do it with low or moderate power.

                That said… I agree that his bat may not play in RF. In his best years it would have been solid there, nothing more. His best years may be behind him, though. I still think he’s about as good offensively as most 4th OFs. His role in RF would likely be to start out behind Beltran on the depth chart and surpass him if he ends up needing surgery for the bone spur or it limits him from playing in the field.

            • YakaTanaka

              Or Prado is your 3B… As much as I like Headley (and have for years), I would wait to see how the market values him given his back issues.

          • YakaTanaka

            SS and probably SP depending on the health of various guys.

            Luckily this off-season is probably as good as it gets for a team in need at SS. Drew and Cabrera with no QOs attached, plus Lowrie, Hardy, and Hanley set to hit free agency. Tulo possibly available (for a very high price, I’m sure) as well.

            Works out really well, in theory, that they can fill their short-term need while seeing how all the ridiculous depth they’ve compiled in the low minors at SS develops.

            And it’s a pretty decent off-season to need a SP as well. Several top of the rotation guys and some solid depth on the market.

      • HansDavenport

        If they are both out and they continue to carry 13 pitchers that will mean a 1 man bench. Ryan. That’s it unless they DL at least one of those guys or send down a pitcher. Why they would want to play around with a concussion IDK.

        • http://riveraveblues.com/ Yankee Trader

          Hans-

          From MLBTR’s:

          By Charlie Wilmoth [August 9, 2014 at 9:14am CDT]

          “Yankees catcher Brian McCann will visit a neurologist today after suffering a concussion during yesterday’s game, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweets. If McCann heads to the 7-day DL, Austin Romine, who’s hitting .252/.313/.374 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, would likely take his place for the time being. A DL stint would be another disappointment in what’s been a rough season for McCann, who’s hitting just .238/.294/.384 in the first season of a five-year deal.”
          I would imagine the Neurologist will not take any chances, even if he passes with flying colors today.
          Why Romine over Murphy, per this article?

          • HansDavenport

            IDK. On that front you’d have to ask an expert. And I don’t mean anyone who posts here.

            • MTU

              If you only knew who you were replying to.
              That’s kind of funny actually.

              • HansDavenport

                OMG no! Not another LOHUG expert with connections? Help!

                • RhapsodyInBlue

                  Prufock you’ll never change.

                  • Tar

                    You’re obsession is not flattering. This kind of thing was better left at Lohud anyways. You’re better than that, and should act that way. Oh BTW you’re wrong as well

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      You mean there’s more than one loud mouth bully posting other than Prufock? This site has to crimp his/her style having to resort to just one handle.

                    • Tar

                      Just one handle? Wrong again…

                    • RhapsodyInBlue

                      I’ll believe my lying eyes

                    • Tar

                      Whatever, have a nice day.

                • MTU

                  Your sarcasm is making you look foolish.
                  YT will probably be pissed at me for saying so but he is a
                  physician who would be well qualified to speak to the issue.

                • Tar

                  Morning Hans
                  I have to come to YT defense as well. I have been reading his posts for years… I would believe anything he posts. If he is not sure he will say. He always posts his sources, and he is generally one of the nicest guys around. I get the Lohud bashing is in vogue around here, but in this case your off base.

                  • Jorge Steinbrenner

                    No one is in a higher category here. No one posts here as an expert. If someone wants their word to be taken as gospel, they can log on Facebook and comment where that shit used to fly. It won’t fly here.

            • Douglas Rau

              You never know: someone here might be a neurologist. I’m not.

            • Yankee Trader

              Tar, MTU _Thanks for the support. Hans was probably referring to the question, why Romine over Murphy.
              Took no offense!
              Still friends!

              • HansDavenport

                Yes. I meant Romine over Murphy. My conjecture would have been they wanted Murphy to play full time. But that is all it would have been. Conjecture. Based solely on opinion. A guess. Even had it been on the concussion, unless the patient was in front of you, could you make much more then an educated guess? Okay.
                That’s why I don’t use WEB.MD. I visit the doctor in his/her office. Seriously, you’re likely okay and I have no problem with you either.
                However, it’s my opinion you guys will collectively ruin this blog like you ruined the other. Don’t kid yourselves and believe for a minute Chad Jennings cares you are gone. He did that to rid himself of all of you. Not just two people. He knew most of you wouldn’t have the guts to post on facebook. That’s it. Only my opinion. One day Axisa will likely blow up what he worked so hard to create.

  • Alkaline

    If we’re able to get him, we worry about potentially blocking Ref down the road. No reason to not get this guy because we have a good looking prospect at AAA. There’s no guarantees Ref succeeds in MLB.

    I hope to hell he does, though. But, if he doesn’t, the naysayers will be here saying “Why didn’t Cashman get that Castillo guy to play 2nd base!?”

    • imadominiCAN

      there’s no guarantee that this guy will succeed either. All reports I’m reading say he’s not great, doesn’t have a “great” tool. I just want the nyy to give our own guys a chance to show what they have. That’s how they found out that cano, gardner, wang were legitimate players. Even Shane Greene is showing some potential even though his numbers at AAA weren’t great. If you don’t give your guys a chance, then you don’t know what you have…

      • JohnnyC

        But that’s exactly the problem. They don’t know what they have. And their first instinct is that what they have is not MLB-ready and may never be. Self-evaluation is the greatest skill a front office can have. Not sure Yankees have that.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          That’s not what signing this guy with an eye on second base would mean.

        • 86w183

          I don’t agree. The unwillingness to take a chance on and be patient with young players IS their greatest weakness.

          • YakaTanaka

            No… please stop this meme… Can you leave the irrationality and unwillingness to listen to reason at LoHud?

      • 86w183

        It points out the enormous challenge that is player development. To paraphrase Kenny Rogers, you got to know when to play ‘em, know when to trade ‘em……

        Every teams guesses wrong on an annual basis.

        • MTU

          It’s “know when to hold em’. Know when to fold ‘em.”
          ;)

          • 86w183

            check the word “paraphrase” my friend

            • MTU

              Sorry dude.
              Missed it.

              • 86w183

                no prob…. how you doin’?

                • MTU

                  Can’t answer questions like that here.
                  I’m doing better.

        • Anthony Turreto

          The Yankees are just horrible at producing positional talent in their system. Signing Castillo instead of allowing someone like Refsnyder have a chance is just another example of poor development. Once they trade Ref he will become a decent player with another club.

      • Alkaline

        Yep, both are unknowns. So I wouldn’t mind taking my chances with both. Increase the odds of getting 1 2nd baseman…

    • Dalek Jeter

      I agree. Refs isn’t any more a sure thing than Castillo…so if the team likes him, they should sign him and figure out who plays were later.

  • Game 3

    A wealth of talent would be a welcome problem. Could Ref potentially fit as a power bat in RF? I don’t know that much about him.
    Looks like lots of nice IF options for next year.

    • MTU

      Does not have power.

    • 86w183

      He’s not going to hit for much power. Seems kinda like Prado to me… a younger cheaper Prado.

      • Angelo

        It would be pretty great if he turned into that. That’s assuming a lot though. And he could have 10-15 HR power. Not terrible, but not much.

        • Rick

          Agree. Prado’s peak is borderline to actual all-star. We would be lucky if Ref turned into that.

  • 86w183

    gotta run for a while…. let’s get Kluber… 8 games over .500 sounds good to me

    have a day

  • blake

    I hope they take a risk on this guy if they think he’s for real…..it’s how they should use their financial advantage…..to take risks on players:….but that means basically eating his salary if he busts and not holding it over Cashman’s head. If they aren’t prepared to absorb the risk then they better be sure he can play for them

    • MTU

      They should be sure to a Metaphysical certainty.
      Otherwise they should pass.

      • blake

        I mean I’m fine with it so long as that are ok with basically absorbing his salary every year if he turns out to not be any good……these deals are high risk high reward……you have to accept that going in

        • MTU

          It’s their money Blake.
          Let them worry ’bout it.

          • YakaTanaka

            Not really… wasting money on one player is pretty likely to directly impact their willingness to invest in other players to make up for the loss in expected production… so, as a fan, you should probably be quite worried about how efficiently they spend their money.

        • Madrugador

          Maybe I’ve become too risk averse with time but I have had my fill of high risk high reward players for the time being. I’d like to see some of the young guys get a chance. Besides, someone else said it, one of these guys from Cuba is going to go bust. Not all of them make it, i.e. Mustelier.

          • blake

            Well musty wasn’t the caliber of talent that Castillo reportedly is…I mean the yanks really haven’t taken a big risk on a Cuban player…..they have signed the fringe ones for not much money. There is reportedly a lot more upside here

          • YakaTanaka

            Mustelier signed for a $50k bonus… probably not a comparable situation.

        • YakaTanaka

          They really don’t have a choice but to be fine paying his salary every year once they guarantee it.

          The question is whether they are willing to dip into their returns to re-invest the additional money in the team. I would imagine that’s pretty circumstantial. i.e. what is the expected ROI on that additional spending? If Castillo busts and everything else goes right/wrong enough to make them a strong contender/lost cause… the marginal spending probably isn’t worth it. If they’re on some bubble where another borderline starting player means a serious revenue increase… they probably spend it. (Sort of speculation as I don’t know MLB finances well enough to know what the so called “win curve” looks like exactly… I’m just assuming that a 70 win team or a 95 win team don’t generally benefit from 2, 3 wins in a season as much as, say, an 83-90 win team does.)

          Or more simply… if Refsnyder is a starting 2B and Castillo busts… they spent only $1.5m more the next 3 seasons total to be in the same situation as if Castillo worked out. (This is overly-simplistic, of course, as there are ripples at other positions, the bench, trade value, etc.)

    • YakaTanaka

      I’m pretty sure both Cashman and Hal understand risk management. Cashman attends asset management conferences and Hal prides himself on being an MBA.

      While signing players is how they can use their financial advantage… the questions are which players and for how much money? They don’t have unlimited resources, even if it’s sort of close to that. Signing Castillo could be a direct blow to their ability to sign some other player this off-season or down the road. So… it’s not just about whether they like Castillo… it’s about how much they like him relative to all their other options. If they think he’s worth, say, $20 mill and someone offers $30 mill… the right move might be to walk about and use the money elsewhere.

      • Tar

        “I’m pretty sure both Cashman and Hal understand risk management. Cashman attends asset management conferences and Hal prides himself on being an MBA.”

        My first thoughts were Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis

        • YakaTanaka

          Youkilis is actually a great example. Healthy back = great value. Bad back = eat $10 mill.

          That someone makes a few mistakes out of the hundreds or even thousands of decisions they make is not evidence that they don’t understand what they’re doing.

          • Tar

            You do realize that he had a history of back trouble. yet they gave him 13 mil? That is not great risk management…. IMO. And there are plenty of other examples, I just gave the two recent ones that jumped out at me. We probably just have a difference of opinion on this one…no biggie.

            • YakaTanaka

              You do realize that if he didn’t have a history of back trouble, they would have had to give him much more than $13 million? It didn’t work out. Without looking at his medicals, you’re really not in a position to say whether it was a good decision at the time or not. Guy had basically always produced outside half a season so it wasn’t like they were hoping for a miracle.

              This is not a matter of opinion. Whether they’ve made mistakes in the past or not… a million mistakes even… Cashman and Hal either understand risk management or they don’t. When you’re going to asset management conferences and discussing your philosophy, there’s ample evidence that you understand the subject. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to make mistakes. There was a hedge fund started a few years back by some nobel laureates… went belly up pretty quickly. No one can predict the future even if they know more about what they’re doing than anyone in the world.

              You aren’t really addressing the issue we are talking about.

              Why did all of you leave LoHud anyway?

    • LazerTown

      Isn’t just a no risk situation though. Spending $40MM on this guy means less to spend on free agents.

  • Guest

    If they sign this guy, then they have to look at trading Prado. Three 2B/RF type players with low power is not gonna work well together.

    • Rick

      Sign the guy, send him to the minors, then worry about the logjam later if it comes to it

      • YakaTanaka

        Exactly.

        And in the best case where they are all above average MLB hitters… it’s really not a problem to keep all three. Power has to be considered within the whole offensive package. This isn’t the PEDs-era where power is a requirement 1-9 in the line-up. Any power you can find these days outside 1B is pretty awesome. Moving guys without power doesn’t guarantee you’ll find a better hitter to replace them.

        • Rick

          How long is Prado signed for anyway? Castillo and Ref would be long term solutions (hopefully) not immediate impact bats. Maybe Castillo could provide shorter term impact, but Prado is the now. Castillo and Ref would be the future.

          • Pkyankfan69

            Prado has 2 years – $22M left on his deal after this year.

          • LazerTown

            Castillo is already 27, so he is the now, at most next year.

            Not really worried about Prado. He can play so many positions that there is so bound to be someone that gets hurt, or underperforms that he slides right in.

  • Preston

    For what it’s worth, this guy posted a .315/.383/.512 line in Cuba over the last three seasons, at age 24-26, while playing a corner OF spot. To put those numbers in context the last three seasons of several other defectors with their ages;

    Jose Abreu 24-26 .393/.527/.802
    Yoenis Cespedes 23-25 ..334/.420/.629
    Alexei Ramirez 23-25 .287/.419/.527

    I think it’s obvious that this guy is not on Abreu’s or Cespedes’s level as a hitter. He’s 27 so unlike with a guy like Puig, there isn’t the same upside for improvement. Although he did it in different ways (more average, fewer walks and less power) his production is most similar to Alexei Ramirez, who has a career wRC+ of 91. If this guys was a slick fielding SS I’d be interested in him. But he’s a corner outfielder who they say has the athleticism to play in CF and who apparently has also tried to show he can play the infield. I don’t see a lot to love about him, especially with an elite CF in place, no need for a light hitting RF, Prado on the roster and Refsnyder in the system.

    • LazerTown

      True, but because the leagues are so different you need to really use your scouts. It all depends on how your scouts project him to play right now.

      • Preston

        I don’t think you need a scout to tell you that he’s not nearly as good as Abreu or even Cespedes, which means he’s not a fit in RF. So they better be 100% certain he can make the transition to 2b. Below average hitter, poor defender at 2b, sounds a lot like Brian Roberts.

        • YakaTanaka

          I think you’re making a lot of questionable assumptions.

        • Mitchel H. Griffith

          Man you would be fired as a GM in less then a day.

    • YakaTanaka

      Report specifically says that the Yankees see him as a 2B.

      A ~90 wRC+ is probably not worth $35 million at 2B… but it probably makes him an MLB starting 2B (or CF) if the defense is average or better. I would bet the $35 mill figure is more his agent and/or pure speculation from scouts with no authority to make those kinds of decisions. We’ll have to see what a team actually bids, and whether it’s the Yankees that make the high bid.

      Even if he’s sort of a stop-gap to see if Refsnyder can play at MLB or a good UTL… this year’s trade deadline showed that young MLB contributors on reasonable deals can be valuable trade chips. And that’s assuming the Yankees “interest” is in anything more than him being the next Mustelier, Garcia, or Miranda.

      • Preston

        Alex Guerrero got 28 million, so I think that’s probably the floor for this guy. I don’t think the Yankees should throw that kind of money at a stop gap. They either think he’s a long term solution at 2b or they don’t. I personally think that Prado and Refsnyder represent better options.

        • YakaTanaka

          Don’t have them in front of me, but I thought Guerrerro’s numbers in Cuba were better than Castillo’s (for what that’s worth… like a minor league player, those numbers won’t translate directly to MLB).
          And if he ultimately gets $28mill plus, that doesn’t mean the Yankees offer him that much. They might have interest at, say, $10mill (or any other number) and back off if the bidding intensifies.

          When I say “stop-gap,” I mean insurance. If Refsnyder is never better than him… you hope that Castillo is your long-term 2B. You either trade Refsnyder, stick him on the bench, or use him as the AAAA player depending on how good he is. If, on the other hand, Refsnyder is better than Castillo… Castillo can still be worth the investment as an OF, strong UTL, or trade chip. (Or… he can not be worth the investment… or neither can be worth anything at the MLB level.)

          Obviously the Yankees aren’t signing him to $Xmill if they don’t think he’s worth $Xmill. I’m going to assume that you’re not really in a position to have any clue how much he’s worth other than looking up his box score stats in an inferior league… so I wouldn’t get too bent out of shape. Again, like a minor league prospect there is more to making the MLB transition than box score stats from an inferior league.

          • Preston

            They were, I’m not saying they shouldn’t be interested. They should be interested in every player at the right price. I just don’t see how he’s worth the rumored price, which is 35-50 million. I’d rather use that money to resign Headley or get an MLB RF option.

            • YakaTanaka

              Yeah, I’m not sure if the rumors are true, though, and if they are I’m not sure that means the Yankees interest is at that level. That’s all I’m saying.

              And instead of “stop-gap,” I probably should have said “hedge.” What I meant was more hedge your bets.

        • Mitchel H. Griffith

          Refs hasn’t done as expected in AAA , 54 Games, .297 AVG , 30 R, 60 Hits , 13 2B , 1 3B , 6 HR ,

  • spongeworthy1

    Today’s starting lineups:

    Indians

    1 2B Jason Kipnis
    2 LF David Murphy
    3 DH Michael Brantley
    4 1B Carlos Santana
    5 C- Yan Gomes
    6 RF Nick Swisher
    7 3B Lonnie Chisenhall
    8 SS Jose Ramirez
    9 CF Chris Dickerson

    SP * Corey Kluber

    Yankees

    1 LF Brett Gardner
    2 SS Derek Jeter
    3 CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    4 DH Carlos Beltran
    5 1B Chase Headley
    6 2B Stephen Drew
    7 3B Martin Prado
    8 RF Ichiro Suzuki
    9 C+ Francisco Cervelli

    SP * Brandon McCarthy

  • n0exit

    Too much downside , not enough upside. I suspect they only want to drive up the price. (Also I love the new mobile site)

    • YakaTanaka

      Love how so many fans are experts on players they had never heard of a few months ago and have still never seen play…

      And how a rumor the Yankees have some interest becomes interpreted as they’re serious bidders. The Yankees have been linked to almost every top Cuban player who came over in some way, and made some of them offers.

      • Mitchel H. Griffith

        Please show me a link that says we are interested in more cuban players.

  • Douglas Rau

    Just a word of warning: the last time the Yankees jumped on a “we have to land a player from this other country because other teams are getting stars from there”, it was Japan, in response to the Dodgers getting Hideo Nomo and the Red Sox getting Dice-K and that’s how they ended up saddled with Kei Igawa for 5 years.

    • YakaTanaka

      Just a word of warning: that the Yankees have some level of interest in signing Castillo does not mean that they are jumping on any bandwagon because any other team is doing anything.

      I understand what you’re getting at, but you’re making a lot of questionable assumptions to get there.

      • Mitchel H. Griffith

        We want to sign him to give us a boost.

    • IVoted4Kodos

      Kei Igawa was a response to Nomo? Talk about a delayed response.

    • pragprogessive

      Or when the Rangers got Darvish and the Yanks went heavy for Tanaka the following year.

    • Cuso

      This premise is completely and utterly false. Just false.

    • moocow007

      ? Nomo came to the majors in 1995 (and immediately found success going 13-6 with a 2.54 era while striking out 236 batters in 191 innings). Igawa wasn’t signed until 2007. That’s a 12 year delayed response there. The Yankees response to Nomo was actually Hideki Irabu whom they signed in 1997.

  • Jim Demotses

    Interesting that they like him at 2nd rather than the outfield. What does that say about their feelings on Rob Refsnyder? If he pans out and can play the outfield it might allow them to sell high on Gardner.

    • YakaTanaka

      I think that all it says is Refsnyder hasn’t proven that he can play 2B and hit in MLB yet. You can’t really have too many good players on good contracts at a position. You can easily have no good players at a position because you assumed a prospect would transition cleanly to MLB.

      We’ll have to see how much they’re actually willing to offer Castillo… and even then it doesn’t necessarily mean much. The Dodgers spent a whole lot on Guerrerro, and they still made Gordon their starting 2B out of a spring training. When they only have to pay someone the league minimum and arb raises… big market teams can afford to hedge their bets even if they believe in a prospect.

      Extending the ramifications all the way to trading Gardner is a big leap, as is assuming that selling now would be selling high.

    • Mitchel H. Griffith

      We aren’t selling Godner.

  • Jim Demotses

    I think in a perfect world they would love to have Refsnyder play 2nd and give them a low cost position player. The only reason I mention Gardner is he has a reasonable contract and is having what appears to be a career year so he is probably their best major league trade commodity. It sounds like Gardner and Castillo are similar type players but it is a huge leap to think a Cuban prospect can make the leap to the big leagues and take Gardner’s place.

    • YakaTanaka

      I agree. I assume they are high on Refsnyder but just open to hedging their bets. Even if Refsnyder works out brilliantly, Castillo could still provide value as an OF, trade chip, or bench player. As long as one of them is a solid starting 2B… I think things will have worked out (in a world where they sign Castillo).

      I can see the chain that would lead to trading Gardner, but I just think it’s a big leap because of all the other things that would have to happen. One of many possible outcomes, basically.

      Also, just fyi… there’s a little reply button under the comments that helps keep conversations organized.

    • Mitchel H. Griffith

      I Would rather have castillo.