BOSTON -- It’s no secret the Boston Red Sox have interest in Cuban defector Rusney Castillo, but general manager Ben Cherington on Tuesday would only say they’re one of many teams that have had contact with the 27-year-old prospect.
“There’s obviously been attention on this. He’s a player that we’ve seen and have talked to, but we’re just one of several teams that have done that,” Cherington said. “There’s nothing more I can say than that.”
The Red Sox are one of several teams bidding for the outfielder, who has also shown the ability to play the infield. Multiple club sources told ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes on Sunday that the club is impressed with Castillo’s power and overall hitting ability.
When asked what he likes about Castillo, Cherington would not elaborate on the organization’s scouting report.
“I’m not going to get into our evaluation in public," he said. "Again, we’ve seen him. We’ve talked to him and we’re one of several teams that have done that. There’s not really anything else I can say.”
The Red Sox lost out last year on the bid for Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, who eventually signed a six-year deal worth $66 million with the Chicago White Sox and is having a solid rookie season, with a .302 average, 31 homers and 89 RBIs.
Red Sox outfielder and fellow Cuban import Yoenis Cespedes briefly saw Castillo play in Cuba.
“I don’t know him all that well. We overlapped for about two years, playing in Cuba, so I was able to see him play a good amount,” Cespedes said. “As far as impact here, or how he would be here, I can only speak to what he was in Cuba, and in Cuba I would’ve put him at the same level as [Dodgers Cuban outfielder Yasiel} Puig, and look at what Puig’s done here. So that could materialize, it could not, but that’s what I see so far.”
The baseball world is expecting Castillo’s decision any day now.