Just as the fire sale trade of Crawford, Beckett and Gonzalez salvaged what little shards of dignity were left in the 2012 season, today’s announcement that the Red Sox have signed Cuban defector Rusney Castillo puts a bit of a shine on an ass-ugly summer.
Sure, there’s still a lot of things we don’t know. Like how the guy will perform in the Majors. And he hasn’t played in over a year since defecting, which is concerning. But he kicked some serious ass in five seasons with Cuba’s top league. And his fellow countrymen Jose Abreu and Yasiel Puig are doing pretty well in the States. No harm in rolling the dice for a piece of that action, especially when we’ve got a team full of players who we do know lots about and who haven’t hit for shit this year.
The contract calls for $72.5 million over 7 years, backloaded to average about $10.35 million annually. That’s around what we paid Stephen Drew for two months of imitating a hat rack at the plate. And somewhat comparable to the last big foreign signing we made, namely Dice-K’s 6 year, $52 million contract — but without the insane $51 million fee we paid just for the right to talk to Matsuzaka.
So now we have something to think about this winter. Like whether Castillo is part of ownership’s plan to build an all-defector outfield (Red Sox Nation: Cuba is currently taking memberships) or just a chip to pawn off in the hope of landing Giancarlo Stanton.
All I know is that I’m thankful the Red Sox have made video of their final negotiations public: