Rusney Castillo has jumped through his final legal hoop and now is eligible to suit up for the Boston Red Sox.
The 27-year-old Cuban outfielder, whom the Red Sox signed to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract last weekend, has been granted a work visa, Roc Nation Sports president and CEO Juan Perez told ESPN.com’s Gordon Edes on Wednesday.
Castillo, who reported Wednesday to the Red Sox’s spring training facility in Fort Myers, now legally is able appear in Major League Baseball games, though it still is unclear when he will make his debut. Red Sox manager John Farrell said last week that Castillo likely will play a few games with a minor league affiliate before joining the big league roster.
Perez also shared with Edes some details about Castillo’s decision to sign with Boston, saying that Red Sox vice president of player personnel Allard Baird was in constant contact with him and the outfielder throughout the process.
“We had barely gotten (Castillo) and he called me,” Perez said. “I don’t know how he got my number. He was always in contact, making sure that we stayed in touch, telling me, ‘Don’t forget about us.’ I was Harlem born and raised and a Yankees fan, but I was impressed with the Red Sox organization.”
Castillo played 360 games over five seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, compiling a .319/.383/.516 slash line with 75 doubles, 11 triples and 51 home runs.