The courtship of Rusney Castillo has mostly been a mystery. The speedy Cuban outfielder has drawn comparisons to Brett Gardner, though recent muscle addition has those initial comparisons in question, as he might have more power than most thought. He was supposed to work out with the Mariners, but it was postponed, but now it seems like he did indeed work out with the Mariners, who are among six "serious players" for Castillo, according to Jon Heyman.
Not only does Heyman confirm that the Mariners did indeed work out Castillo in a private session, he says that Castillo is expected to sign soon. He'd have to be on a major league roster by August 31st to be eligible for the playoffs, but nobody really knows if he's ready to make that leap or if he'll need minor league seasoning. The cost is starting to soar on Castillo after the recent string of success from Cuban position players, but he's still expected to stay reasonably priced -- somewhere in the neighborhood of $35-55 million, according to Heyman.
One way or another, we'll know exactly how interested the Mariners truly are, and if they're willing to add another outfielder with Dustin Ackley's second half surge, Austin Jackson, and a returning Michael Saunders. The Mariners have options in the outfield, but even in the most ideal situations, none are elite. Picking up Castillo certainly has the potential to be a massive long-term addition.
Here's what Heyman says about Castillo and the Mariners.
The Mariners, which forged a $240-million deal with Robinson Cano, who like Castillo is represented by the Roc Nation/CAA partnership, could be a player in the eyes of some due to that relationship plus Seattle's possible need for an outfielder -- though others wonder whether their extra look might be a courtesy call considering the Mariners had seemingly little money to spend at the deadline.
I'm not expecting them to sign him, but they are getting seriously mentioned more than anticipated. Let's wait and see what happens.