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Former Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo signs with Japanese team

Rusney Castillo agreed to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox in 2014 after leaving Cuba.
Rusney Castillo agreed to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox in 2014 after leaving Cuba.Justin K. Aller

Former Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo signed with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Pacific League on Saturday, per an announcement by the team.

Castillo, 33, agreed to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox in 2014 after leaving Cuba. He had a .679 OPS in 99 games over three seasons and was outrighted to Triple A Pawtucket in 2016.

Castillo rode out his contract there until becoming a free agent. Thanks to a since-closed loophole, the Sox were able to pay off his deal without the money counting against baseball’s luxury tax as long as he remained in the minors.

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That effectively trapped Castillo in Pawtucket. In all, he played 467 games for PawSox, hitting .293 with a .761 OPS and 42 home runs.


Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.