This is a blog post about Rusney Castillo and why the Giants should sign him. I have never seen Castillo play, but everyone says he's the hot, new thing, so the Giants simply must have him.
Buy us a shiny new international free agent, Giants.
Newest SJ Giant Daniel Carbonell! pic.twitter.com/AtZfFOU6Yq— Collin Baker (@baseballcb950) August 9, 2014
SHINIER. THAT ONE IS OLD NOW.
The Giants have a chance to sign an exciting international player, as do 29 other teams, so it's at least worth it to explore the idea. You might remember previous installments of posts like this, concerning international free agents. Here's a bulleted list of past infatuations, and every one links back to an McC post on the subject ...
- Shunsuke Watanabe (released by Red Sox in March, playing in the Frontier League)
- Masahiro Tanaka (awesome and broken)
- Kenta Maeda (awesome and in Japan)
- Hiroyuki Nakajima (terrible)
- Jose Abreu (so good)
- Yasmani Tomas (ha ha, I wrote this a month ago and have nooooo idea who this guy is)
- Odrisamer Despaigne (could have allowed the Giants to keep Edwin Escobar)
- Aledmys Diaz (doing okay in Double-A)
- Alexander Guerrero (Dodgers earmarked a ton of money, doing great in Triple-A now)
Those are a lot of posts about nothing. The Giants signed Osvaldo Fernandez, then they signed Kensuke Tanaka. There was that Carbonell cat (on whom the early returns are quite positive), and now we're here. Probably could have thrown in a Masanori Murakami reference to really bookend everything, but that's just about the entire history of the Giants and international free agents coming from countries with established professional leagues.
You can hear a stray "San Francisco" in this video, which is enough for me!
And Bobby Evans was on with Marty Lurie over the weekend, and here's what he said about Castillo:
We're trying to be proactive on every Cuban player that comes available.
In a situation where a simple, "Well, we like him well enough, but not at the prices he's going to command" would have sufficed, Evans sounded at least open to the possibility of the Giants getting him.
The Giants aren't going to get him.
That has less to do with the Giants being cheap and short-sighted as it does with 29 other teams wanting him, including the teams that are substantially richer than even the Giants. The Yankees have so, so many reasons to get a young, available talent. So do the Giants, but the Yankees have those reasons and Yankee money. The Giants are making a nice living, but they're not the Yankees. They haven't been bullies since the days of Zito, and they probably aren't going to start now.
The emergence of Yoenis Cespedes started us off. The quick ascent of Yasiel Puig slapped us in the face and flipped a bat at us. The success of Jose Abreu hammers the point home: The preternaturally talented Cuban-born free agent is probably undervalued right now. Or, to be more accurate, was probably undervalued before Abreu screwed it all up. At some point, the pendulum is going to tip, and teams will start paying proven-player money to increasingly risky players, and there will be five times as many Yandelvis Foonsito stories as there are Abreu stories. I made that name up, but it doesn't matter. There will be a tipping point, and I have a feeling that Castillo is fairly close to it, at least from a temporal perspective.
If there's ever a time to take a risk, though, goodness, this is it. The Giants don't have a lot of (any?) advanced outfield prospects, depending on whether or not you want to count Carbonell, yet they're going to have at least one gaping hole in the outfield next year. It's probably not a great idea to assume Pagan will ever be good for more than 400 plate appearances in a season, too. Hunter Pence isn't exactly a spring emu, either, so outfield depth is going to be at a premium. They'll need some youth in addition to immediate help. Just about the only way to get that before next season is with Castillo.
If he's good, that is. Which he might not be. Which he absolutely might not be. He might be Dante Powell in a higher tax bracket. One of these days, a team is going to drop $75 million on a Cuban player, and he's going to go full Hiroyuki Nakajima on them. It might happen with Castillo, and boy howdy, that would mess the Giants up. If the Giants figure they can spend $50 million over five years on a risky unknown without completely jeopardizing the big-league payroll, they could still get outbid by $40 million.
Considering how uncertain the Giants' future is anyway, I'm for a little more uncertainty and a violent, home run cut from the front office. It would be one thing if the Giants had a roster that needed a sac fly to tie the game. But the Giants are more down by two in the ninth with two runners on. A big ol' hack just might be crazy enough to work.
If he's good.
I have no idea if Rusney Castillo is good, but I want the Giants to get him because I'm a spoiled fan who can dream big. This is a repeat from last month, the month before that, and 13 years into the future. One of these times, though, it'll actually happen. That'll be fun. The timing seems to be just perfect on this one, though. Here's hoping the Giants agree.