For those intrigued by a glimpse of what Rusney Castillo looks like as a baseball player, JAY-Z’s Life+Times channel on Youtube produced the following look at the Red Sox‘ new outfielder:

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

The Red Sox announced the signing of outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal that begins immediately and runs through 2020. Here is the breakdown of the deal:

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo signs autographs at Fenway Park Saturday morning. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo signs autographs at Fenway Park Saturday morning. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

The Red Sox announced the signing of outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal that begins immediately and runs through 2020. Here is the breakdown of the deal:

Signing Bonus- $5.4m

2014 Base Salary:    $100k total for the remainder of the year
2015 Base Salary:    $10.5m
2016 Base Salary:    $10.5m
2017 Base Salary:    $10.5m
2018 Base Salary:    $11m
2019 Base Salary:    $11m
2020 Base Salary:    $13.5m

Castillo has the right to opt out of the seventh and final year of his deal (his age 32 season).

The deal represents a $10.36 million hit for luxury tax purposes in each of the seven years (including 2014), but the Red Sox cleared enough payroll at the trade deadline that signing Castillo will not push them past the $189 million luxury tax threshold for 2014.

Here is the press release announcing the signing, which also includes the detail that Castillo will report to the Sox’ extended spring training/Rookie Level Gulf Coast League facility in Fort Myers:

The Boston Red Sox today signed outfielder Rusney (roos-NAY) Castillo to a seven-year major league contract beginning in 2014 and continuing through 2020. 

Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.

Castillo, 27, hit .319 (403-for-1,265) with 75 doubles, 11 triples, 51 home runs, 99 walks, 256 runs scored, and 76 stolen bases in 360 games over five seasons in Cuba’€™s major league, Serie Nacional. He spent all five campaigns with his hometown team, Ciego de Avila, and posted a career .383 on-base percentage, .516 slugging percentage, and .899 OPS while appearing primarily in center and right field.

The 5-foot-9, 205-pound Castillo last played in Cuba during the 2012-13 season and hit .274 with six doubles, two triples, six homers, and 29 RBI over 68 contests in which he struck out fewer times (29) than he walked (31).

During the 2010-11 season, the right-handed batter set career highs with 22 home runs and 95 RBI. The following season, 2011-12, he hit .342 in 113 games with 60 extra-base hits, including 21 homers, helping Ciego de Avila to the Serie Nacional Championship.

In 2011, Castillo also represented Cuba in the Baseball World Cup and the Pan American Games. He established residency in Haiti before signing with the Red Sox.

In the coming days, he will report to the Red Sox’€™ Fenway South facility in Fort Myers, FL to resume baseball activities.  With the signing, the Red Sox’€™ 40-man roster is now at 39.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

Xander Bogaerts‘€™ status going forward with Boston is uncertain in the wake of the 21-year-old taking a Felix Hernandez pitch off the helmet in Friday’€™s loss to the M

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts‘€™ status going forward with Boston is uncertain in the wake of the 21-year-old taking a Felix Hernandez pitch off the helmet in Friday’€™s loss to the Mariners.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Bogaerts — who is not in the lineup for Saturday’€™s game against Seattle — still needs to undergo additional evaluations to rule out the potential for a concussion.

“€œAnytime you get hit in the head like he did last night and get removed from the game, he’€™s got to go through a protocol, which he’€™s going through today, just to see if there’€™s any concussion symptoms,” Farrell said. “So that’€™s what’€™s taking place this morning.”

While it appeared that Bogaerts was healthy enough to remain in the game after being struck in the head by the 89 mph changeup, it became apparent to Farrell that his shortstop was beginning to lose focus as the game dragged on, leading to his removal from the game.

“The eye tests, the walking in a straight line, having him stand there with his eyes closed, all those were negative results, so it was determined at that point that he continue, based on his response to questions and all that our trainers put him through in the moment,” Farrell said. “But it’s not uncommon, as time goes on, that you start to feel the onset of symptoms and that was the case last night and that’€™s when he was removed.”

Even though no results have been released in terms of Bogaerts’€™ latest series of tests, he told WEEI.com’€™s Alex Speier Saturday morning that he felt better and hopes to play Sunday in the series finale against Seattle.

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

– Another Red Sox player was removed early from Friday’€™s game, as starter Joe Kelly was lifted after five innings despite only throwing 86 pitches. Kelly said after the game that he felt a slight sensation in his shoulder after delivering a curveball in the fifth inning, but that his exit was merely precautionary.

Farrell agreed with Kelly’€™s claims, adding that he expects no limitations for the right-hander going forward.

“€œJoe came in and felt no ill effects from last night after a battery of tests that he went through after the game that didn’€™t reproduce any of the symptoms,” Farrell said. “It was followed up with him feeling well this morning and he’€™s on target to start in five days.”

– Boston will be looking to rebound from Friday’€™s loss to the Mariners, as closer Koji Uehara surrendered five earned runs in the ninth, erasing a 3-0 Red Sox lead en route to a 5-3 Seattle victory. Uehara has now allowed at least one earned run in three straight outings, the longest streak of his big league career. It remains to be seen if he will be available to pitch on Saturday.

“€œHe’€™s disappointed, I talked to him briefly after the game last night,” Farrell said. “He’€™s fully accountable, as we’€™ve known from his time here. … But they strung together a number of at-bats to combine for the five runs, so everyone is going through their throwing program right now, so I’€™ll have a better idea after they’€™re done with who’€™s available and who’€™s not today.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

The Red Sox‘ latest Cuban import has finally touched down in Beantown.

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo signs autographs at Fenway Park Saturday morning. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

Cuban defector Rusney Castillo signs autographs at Fenway Park Saturday morning. (Conor Ryan/WEEI.com)

The Red Sox‘ latest Cuban import has finally touched down in Beantown.

Outfielder Rusney Castillo, who is expected to be introduced as a Red Sox on Saturday after agreeing to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with Boston, was at Fenway Park Saturday morning, chatting with Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano (a fellow client of Roc Nation Sports, a partnership between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and CAA) and signing autographs near the Red Sox dugout.

While the deal has yet to be announced, Red Sox manager John Farrell stated that Castillo is enthusiastic about getting his first taste of major-league action in Boston.

“I did get a chance to sit with him and talk with him this morning, he’€™s excited to be here. Glad the process has moved along to this point and excited to get started, when that day comes,” Farrell said.

The timetable for when Castillo will be officially introduced by the organization is unclear at this time, but Farrell added that a press conference will likely be held after Saturday’€™s game with more information on Castillo’€™s status with the club.

“€œHe’€™s going through the final stages of a full exam here. He’€™s in town, as everyone has probably seen. … What remains? There still are a number of administrative things that he’€™s got to go through, a work visa, all those types of things,” Farrell said. “As far as a timeline, that will be determined a little bit later, and like I said, all those questions will be answered later today.”

The 5-foot-9 Castillo has intrigued scouts across MLB with his rare combination of speed, defense and  his potential at the plate. Farrell acknowledged that he has not seen much of Castillo in action, but didn’€™t hesitate to compare him to another Cuban that has made a seamless transition to the major leagues.

“There’€™s not a lot [of video] available, actually,”€ Farrell said. “€œI’€™ve seen a couple of clips of him taking BP or him running, looks to be an explosive type of player.”

Farrell continued: “He’€™s obviously a very strong-looking athlete. Maybe a little bit of a shorter version of [Yasiel] Puig. You get a similar proportion to that type of body, so what that means performance-wise, we’€™ll see, but we’€™re confident in the athleticism and the overall strength.”

While Farrell did not have a definitive answer in terms of when a deal with Castillo will be finalized, he added that the organization certainly has a gameplan for the promising outfielder this season.

“It’€™s going to take a number of days,”€ Farrell said. “I will say this, that it’€™s our hope and our intent that he does get some at-bats at an affiliate once that day comes, and I don’€™t have the exact timeline on that.”

One Red Sox team source suggested that depending on how Castillo looks after not having played in games since 2012 (when he was suspended by Cuba for his desire to defect), winter ball could be a consideration to eliminate lingering rust. Nonetheless, the Sox fully expect that Castillo will be ready for an everyday role by the start of 2015.

Alex Speier contributed to this report.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

The Red Sox continue their three-game series against the Mariners at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon when they send Brandon Workman to the mound against Chris Young.

Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

After struggling in his last five starts, Workman (1-7, 4.26 ERA) had his turn in the rotation skipped last week before returning to the mound against the Angels Monday night. The added rest seemed to have paid off. The right-hander had his best start in two months, allowing just two runs on six hits over seven innings. Workman walked two and struck out five, but didn’t get the necessary run support and took the decision in a 4-2 Red Sox loss.

“The added rest helped,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “I thought his stuff ticked up in terms of action, crispness, velocity. He was down in the strike zone with more consistency. With the exception of a two-out walk in the third [and] a couple of base hits to follow, he more than did his job tonight.”

Saturday will be Workman’s third career appearance and second start against the Mariners. His latest appearance against Seattle came July 30, 2013, at Fenway Park. He held the Mariners to one run on six hits over six innings for his first major league win. Workman is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA against Seattle.

Young (12-6, 3.07 ERA) has been a notable reason why the Mariners have been so successful this season, especially as of late. The 35-year-old is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in his last three starts, and hasn’t lost a decision since July 13.

Young tossed his fourth shutout of the season in his most recent outing last Sunday at Detroit. The righty held the Tigers to four hits and one walk over six innings. Young has, however, had trouble pitching deep into games, a likely result of a history of arm trouble. He’s pitched a combined 22 1/3 innings in his last four starts.

Young hasn’t faced the Red Sox since June 23, 2007, when he tossed a seven-inning shutout at Fenway Park. Young is 2-1 with a 4.20 ERA in three career starts against the Sox.

Mariners vs. Workman (RHP)

Brad Miller (4 plate appearances): .000 AVG/.000 OBP/.000 SLG

Kendrys Morales (4): .750/.750/1.000, 1 double, 2 RBIs

Kyle Seager (4): .500/.500/.500

Dustin Ackley doubled in his lone plate appearance.

Robinson Cano and Austin Jackson are hitless in their lone plate appearances.

Red Sox vs. Chris Young (RHP)

Kelly Johnson (11 plate appearances): .182 AVG/.182 OBP/.182 SLG, 3 strikeouts

David Ortiz (8): .200/.500/.800, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Yoenis Cespedes .000/.143/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

It only seemed fitting in a season filled disappointments and underperformances that the Red Sox would squander a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning against

Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

It only seemed fitting in a season filled disappointments and underperformances that the Red Sox would squander a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning against the Mariners.

What no one really expected was the culprit behind the collapse.

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara entered the ninth as perhaps the closest thing that Boston has had to a sure bet this year, compiling a 1.53 ERA and .080 WHIP with 26 saves on the season.

Uehara seemed to be in prime position to put Seattle away, forcing Endy Chavez into an 1-2 count with two outs and Logan Morrison on first. Chavez would eventually battle back and work the walk to put runners on first and second.

Pinch hitter Chris Denorfia would then single on a soft line drive to right field to load the bases for Austin Jackson, who doubled on a sharp line drive to left that drove in two, cutting Boston’€™s lead to just one run. Seattle quickly grabbed their first lead of the night in the next at-bat, as Dustin Ackley forced a bloop single into left field between shortstop Brock Holt and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, driving in two more runs to give the Mariners a 4-3 lead.

Robinson Cano would tack on an additional run with an RBI single before Red Sox manager John Farrell emerged from the dugout to take the ball away from Uehara -€“ but the damage was already irrevocably done. Uehara was charged with five hits and five earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning as the Red Sox fell to the Mariners, 5-3.

“To me, the key at-bat in the ninth inning was the Chavez walk,” Farrell said after the game. “€œWe’€™ve got two outs, a man at first base and a 1-2 count, and he battles his way back into the count and works out a walk and then the 0-2 pitch to Denorfia, he pushes a base hit to right field, 0-2 pitch to Jackson for the double and unfortunately, Ackley finds kind of the Bermuda Triangle out there to drive in the two go-ahead runs. Maybe a lack of finish to Koji’€™s splitter was the difference tonight.”

Friday night made for one of Uehara’€™s worst outings in his MLB career. It was the most runs that the 39-year-old has allowed in an outing since surrendering six runs with the Orioles during a start against the Rays on May 5, 2009.

Uehara, who had only given up more than one earned run four times in 130 career appearances with Boston, has now been tagged for seven earned runs in his last 2 2/3 innings of work.

Despite what the box score signaled after the game, Holt maintained that he didn’€™t believe the Sox closer really labored too much in his outing.

“€œI really didn’€™t think he struggled a whole lot,”€ Holt said. “€œHe was making pitches. … They were blooping balls in here and there, Austin Jackson hit a ball off the wall. Other than that … they were just finding holes. It’€™s something that we haven’€™t been able to do and it seems like the other teams have.”€

Despite the fact that Uehara has now allowed an earned run in three straight outings, Farrell stated after the game that he doesn’€™t feel like the right-hander will be shut down at some point this season due to fatigue issues or any other matters.

“His last three appearances have had two days off following each one,” Farrell said. “We recognize that over the course of two years, there’€™s been a high number of appearances. His work load has been managed of late and we’€™ll continue to try to do that.”

While the clues seem to point to a potential decline for one of Boston’€™s sturdiest players, Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly expressed his confidence in Uehara’€™s ability to bounce back from Friday’€™s demoralizing defeat.

“Usually, he’€™s automatic, and he just had a tough night tonight. … He’€™s so good,”€ Kelly said. “€œHe’€™ll be fine. He’€™ll go out there and probably rattle off another 15 saves in a row and be back to normal.”

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan