Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports that, according to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, outfielder Rusney Castillo will play in the major leagues this season “barring something unforeseen.” Castillo, who came to the U.S. from Cuba, inked a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox on August 23.
Castillo was in the lineup, leading off for Double-A Portland in Wednesday evening’s game against the Binghamton Mets, the first game of the Eastern League playoffs. Cherington said Castillo will stick with Portland for the duration of their five-game series against Binghamton. Castillo debuted for the Red Sox earlier this week in the Gulf Coast League.
More from Cherington on Castillo, via Britton:
“He’s working hard, attitude has been great, soaking stuff in,” said Cherington. “We’re more interested in watching him integrate into the daily routine and get comfortable with things we’re asking him, and he’s done that very quickly.”
The Twins have reportedly signed free agent shortstop Erick Aybar to a minor-league deal, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reported Friday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the deal comes with a potential $1.25 million if Aybar reaches the majors, with additional incentives based on plate appearances. He’ll be able to opt out on March 27. The team has yet to confirm the signing.
Aybar, 34, is now four years removed from his career year in 2014. He’s been in a state of steady decline since then, slashing just .234/.300/.348 with seven home runs and 11 stolen bases over 370 plate appearances for the Padres in 2017. His poor performance wasn’t helped by a fractured left foot, either, which cost him almost six weeks on the disabled list.
Still, the Twins see something promising in the veteran infielder, and reportedly intend to use him as another utility option this spring. Per Neal, Aybar will join fellow backup infielders Eduardo Escobar and Ehire Adrianza and may even (temporarily) take over for Miguel Sano at third base if Sano isn’t able to shape up for the role by Opening Day.