Paul Sullivan, Cubs beat writer at the Chicago Tribune, has the story:
On Wednesday it was revealed Castro had $3.6 million from his bank accounts in the Dominican Republic frozen over a contract his father signed when he was 16, agreeing to give 3 percent of his major league earnings to persons involved with a baseball school in the Dominican.
Castro’s agent and attorney believe the contract will be nullified in a Dominican court when all is said and done, and Castro will get to keep his money. The Cubs have remained mum, monitoring the situation from afar.
Castro has known about this issue for over a year and his countersuit claims that it had “direct impact on his duties as a professional ballplayer, leading to one of his worst-ever statistical performances.”
Castro did indeed struggle in 2013, batting just .245/.284/.347 in 705 plate appearances.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.
Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.
The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.
The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.