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Sources: Red Sox seen as favorites to land Rusney Castillo

08.22.14 at 6:24 am ET
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Free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo is expected to be close to signing with a major league team. (Getty Images)

Free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo is expected to be close to signing with a major league team. (Getty Images)

According to sources with multiple major league teams that have been involved in the sweepstakes, the Red Sox are considered the favorites to land Cuban free agent outfielder Rusney Castillo. While one industry source cautioned that, as of late Thursday night, Castillo had not yet agreed to a deal with any team and remained in “active” dialogue with multiple clubs, multiple teams believe that the Red Sox may be close to a deal for the athletic, speedy outfielder.

Earlier this week, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington acknowledged that the Red Sox had worked out the 27-year-old (Cherington himself attended the workout) and had talked to him, but didn’t elaborate.

“He’€™€™s a player we’€™€™ve seen and we’€™€™ve talked to, but we’re just one of several teams that have done that,” Cherington said Tuesday at Fenway Park. “There’€™€™s nothing more I can say.”

The 5-foot-9 Castillo is viewed as a player with elite speed that allows him to be a game-changer on the bases and also permits him considerable range in the outfield, where he can play center or right. He also shows the ability to impact the ball as a line-drive/gap hitter.

Castillo’s former teammate Yoenis Cespedes offered the following description of Castillo to WEEI.com earlier this month: “If he’€™€™€™s not a five-tool player, he’€™€™€™s a least a four-tool player. He’€™€™€™s very comparable to [Dodgers outfielder Yasiel] Puig. Obviously a different height and size, but very similar qualities.”

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