The particulars still need to be sorted through, but Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo was at Fenway Park today meeting with organization members, undergoing medical exams, signing autographs and otherwise getting acclimated to his new environment.
Farrell said the Sox intend to hold a news conference for Castillo following today’s game against the Mariners.
“He’s going through the final stages of a full exam here,” Farrell said. “Once we get through today, I think it sounds like there’ll be a press conference at the end of today to answer all the questions that might be still out there.
“What remains, there’s still a number of administrative things that he’s got to go through, a work visa, all that type thing. So as far as the timeline, that’ll be determined a little bit later.”
The Sox are in the process of signing the 27-year-old international free agent to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract.
Farrell met with Castillo for the first time today.
“Did get a chance to sit with him and talk with him this morning,” Farrell said. “He’s excited to be here. Glad the process has moved along to this point and excited to get started when that day comes.”
Though they’ve seen him in workouts, falling in love with his speed and extra-base pop, Castillo is still somewhat of an unknown.
Even video of Castillo is scarce, Farrell said.
“There’s not a lot available, actually,” Farrell said. “I’ve seen a couple of clips of him taking BP or running. He looks to be an explosive type of player.”
When he sized up Castillo’s 5-foot-9-inch, 205-pound frame, Farrell said it reminded him of another player who defected from Cuba and became a star in the major leagues.
“He’s obviously a very strong-looking athlete,” Farrell said. “Maybe a little bit shorter version of [Yasiel] Puig.”
While there are still formalities to resolve, the Sox are hoping to get Castillo major league at-bats with 33 games left in the season. Farrell said the plan is to send Castillo on a minor league assignment first.
“It’s going to take a number of days,” Farrell said. “I will say this: It’s our hope and our intent that he does get some at-bats at an affiliate once that day comes. I don’t have the exact timeline on that.”Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @julianbenbow.