The Red Sox hope to turn their streak of bad luck around by bringing on Cuban hitter Rusney Castillo, according to the Boston Globe. The slugger reportedly signed a seven-year, $72.5 million deal, which sources say will immediately go into effect. That is, the 27-year-old will play in the Red Sox’s remaining 35 games this season.
Per the Boston Herald:
Details of the contract, including the allocation of the salary, are still being worked out between the Red Sox and Castillo’s representatives from Roc Nation Sports, the joint venture between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and CAA Sports that last winter negotiated Robinson Cano’s 10-year, $240 million free agent haul with the Seattle Mariners.
But by starting the deal this year, the Sox were able to lower the average annual value of Castillo’s contract to $10.36 million, which will help keep them beneath the $189 million luxury tax threshold. The contract is believed to be almost entirely backloaded beyond this year, with Castillo likely to make only a portion of $500,000 and the rest of the money to be earned in subsequent seasons.
Castillo’s signing follows fellow Cuban heavy hitter Jose Abreu’s 2013 signing with the Chicago White Sox. That deal earned Abreu, whom the Red Sox were also bidding on but ultimately lost, $68 million over six years.