By KEN POWTAK, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) _ The Boston Red Sox have announced that they have signed Cuban defector Rusney Castillo to a seven-year contract Saturday.
Castillo appeared at Fenway Park on Saturday, wearing Boston Red Sox shorts and a T-shirt three hours before the game with the Seattle Mariners.
Castillo chatted with the Mariners’ Robinson Cano on the field in front of the Mariners dugout and the club has scheduled a news conference to announce the signing after Saturday’s game.
During his pregame media session, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Saturday that Castillo was going through the final stages of an exam and the completion of “administrative” paperwork. He added that GM Ben Cherington may take more questions regarding the possible signing after the game.
“I talked to him this morning. He’s glad to be here and glad the process has moved along to this point and excited to get started _ when that day comes,” Farrell said. “There’s still some things to work through. He’s obviously a strong athlete, a shorter version to (Yasiel) Puig. What that means performance wise, we’ll see. We’re confident in the athleticism and the overall strength.”
The 27-year-old Castillo hit .324 in 2011 and .332 in 2012, during his best two years in Cuba.
Castillo would join fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes in Boston’s new-look outfield. The Red Sox obtained Cespedes from Oakland and Allen Craig from St. Louis at the July 31 trade deadline to try and make up for a weak offensive lineup.
Farrell said the plan would likely be to have him start in the minors.
“As far as a timeline, that’ll be determined a little bit and all of those questions will be answered later today,” Farrell said. “It’s going to take a number of days. It’s our hope and intent that he does get some at-bats at an affiliate once that day comes.”
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