The Red Sox had to have been happy to finally get to see their future in center field on Wednesday night.
There was Rusney Castillo, getting his first hit in his first game while playing the outfield between Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig and right behind Xander Bogaerts in the field.
It's well, a look into the team's future.
While Cespedes and Castillo aren't young, they certainly can be the core of a solid lineup in the future after the Red Sox let Jacoby Ellsbury walk down the road to the Yankees last offseason.
The team wasn't afraid to pay Castillo, but the money is less than half of what Ellsbury is making.
Castillo signed a seven-year, $72.5 million deal in late August while Ellsbury will make $153 million over seven years.
On Wednesday, it was just good for the Red Sox to get a glimpse of Castillo in the majors.
"I don't think it's the results that you learn from," general manager Ben Cherington told MLB.com. "I think it's just watching him around the team, pregame, interact with people, the questions he asks. All that stuff has been very positive so far.”
Where has he been?
As with so many Cuban players who end up in the majors, the story is vague on where he was over the past year before his tour of the Red Sox's minor league affiliates began.
He hit .293 with two stolen bases in his 11 minor league games.
"He's been on a little bit of a whirlwind even if you just start from the time he was in Miami at the showcases -- to go from there to signing to Fort Myers to Binghamton and Portland and Pawtucket and now here,” Cherington said. “He's met a lot of people in a short amount of time and played games in a lot of places. He's handled it all well so far."
Castillo's first base hit was an infield single.
"I'm pretty satisfied with that being my first game," said Castillo, according to MLB.com. "Obviously you'd like a better outcome in terms of winning the game. But I was pretty satisfied with my overall approach and the way I stepped in today and had some results. Overall, satisfied."
Where will he go?
The good part for the Red Sox is that they feel their center fielder of the future is locked up.
The biggest question is how this could influence Cespedes as his contract expires after next season.
Red Sox blog “Over the Monster” suggests a good comp for Cespedes is Nick Swisher, who earned a four-year, $56 million contract before 2013 with the Indians.
It's likely, however, that Cespedes will be more likely to be getting a deal in the neighborhood of $18 million per year.
The New York Daily News recently suggested that the Castillo deal only further cements that the Red Sox will be looking to move Cespedes in the offseason, and that the Mets will be likely suitors while dangling pitching as the bait.
“Their biggest need would appear to be pitching, of which the Mets have a surplus — of both starters and even closers with Bobby Parnell expected back to compete with Jenrry Mejia,” the paper wrote.
It certainly makes sense.
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