September 23, 2021

Rusney Castillo: Baseball’s Richest Minor-League Player (Baseball Essential)

Rusney Castillo officially declined to opt out of the final year of his seven-year, $72.5 million contract on Sunday, meaning that the 32-year-old outfielder will remain with the Boston Red Sox organization. As a result, Castillo will now earn $13.5 million for the 2020 season.

Castillo is coming off a strong season with Boston’s Triple-A affiliate, the Pawtucket PawSox, finishing the year with a .272 batting average to go along with 17 home runs and 64 RBIs. Consequently, Castillo was named Pawtucket’s Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season.

Through his four minor-league seasons, Castillo has hit .294 and shown the kind of power, defense, and athleticism that would make him an effective player on any major-league roster.

Sadly for Castillo, a call-up to the major-league club likely isn’t coming anytime soon. Castillo was removed from Boston’s 40-man roster when he was first demoted by the Red Sox back in 2016. The team did it to save themselves from the tax hit that his hefty contract would’ve triggered. Boston’s desire to stay under the luxury tax demanded that Castillo and his $10.5 million salary be stashed away in the minor leagues back in…

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