BOSTON — The Red Sox have sent their $72.5 million man to the minors.
Outfielder Rusney Castillo was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket and removed from Boston’s 40-man roster Monday after passing unclaimed through waivers, the team announced.
?There was a decision to clear a roster spot in the event that we needed to get somebody here,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said as his team prepared to host the Chicago White Sox on Monday at Fenway Park. “I think the natural question would be, ?What happened?? There were guys that moved ahead of him, and that?s the bottom line. Guys did move ahead of him.
“(Castillo is) a healthy player, there?s still with, I think, a lot of talent there that?s probably got some swing mechanics to work through to become the offensive player that I think a lot of people saw early on when he was working out and going through the whole recruiting process. So, he?ll be playing every day in Pawtucket.?
Farrell said the Red Sox had hoped in spring training that Castillo would be their Opening Day left fielder. Instead, Brock Holt won that job, and the team has used a combination of Holt — who was set to begin a rehab stint at Triple-A on Monday — and Chris Young in left field for the bulk of the season.
“I think we all had hoped and envisioned that certain things would work out differently than they have to date,” the manager said. “But I think it’s also a pretty strong message that, go out and perform, and opportunity will knock.”
Castillo has appeared in 99 major league games since signing a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox in 2014 — 80 of which came during the 2015 season. He’s posted a .261/.301/.379 slash line with seven home runs and 35 RBIs.
The 28-year-old has played in just nine games for the Red Sox this season. He registered a mere eight plate appearances in those contests, going 2-for-8 with a double, three strikeouts and four runs scored.
Regardless of the struggles at the plate, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the team never considered outright releasing Castillo.
?He?s under salary,? Dombrowski said before Monday’s game. ?We?d rather have him down playing and hope that he turns it around because again, I have seen that happen and he does have ability, so it?s a situation where you?re paying his salary so you?re better off playing him at Triple-A.?
If Castillo is able to prove in the minors that he can produce on a consistent basis, a major league return could be in his future.
“As long as he’s healthy, as long as he’s playing every day, that opportunity and potential exists,” Farrell said.
Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports Images