Report: Red Sox and Tigers are front-runners to sign Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo

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We heard earlier this week that Cuban free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo was “moving quickly” toward signing with a team and now Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that the Red Sox and Tigers “appear to be the front-runners.” He’s expected to make a decision no later than the weekend.

Castillo, 27, had a showcase late last month which was attended by representatives from 28 MLB teams. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported this morning that he has since had private workouts with eight teams, including the Red Sox, Tigers, Cubs, Yankees, Phillies, Giants, Mariners, and Reds.

Known for his plus-speed, Castillo is expected to command a contract north of Yasiel Puig’s $42 million deal with the Dodgers. It’s believed that he could make his way to the major leagues as soon as this season depending on where he ends up.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.