On the heels of Rusney Castillo's record $72.5-million, seven-year Red Sox deal, two more top Cuban players are staging showcases this week in South Florida.
The workout worked wonderfully for Castillo, who set a record for a Cuban player with that contract, even above White Sox star Jose Abreu's $68-million deal, so why not? First baseman Jozzen Cuesta and lefthanded starter Misael Siverio will show off their talents at a dual workout at Roger Dean Stadium, the Jupiter, Fla. spring home of the Cardinals and Marlins, on Friday starting at 10 a.m.
Both players are 25, and their free agency should give them a chance at a nice-sized deal -- though one AL talent evaluator cautioned that word is they are not believed to be in Castillo's category. Castillo was compared to Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury before helping himself with a nice showcase in Miami that included some long home runs, and the Red Sox hope he can play center field for them this year.
Cuesta, touted as a power hitter who can also play a corner outfield spot, hit .385 with a homer and six RBI for Cuba in the 2013 WBC, where he backed up the great Abreu, before defecting. In Cuba he played for Ciego de Avile. The righthanded-hitting Cuesta will face live pitching.
Siverio is said by his handlers to throw in the low 90s with a "tight offspeed variation," plus a repertoire that includes a curveball, split-fingered fastball and changeup. Silverio was 42-32 with a 3.29 ERA for Villa Clara in Cuba.