Rusney Castillo, left, poses with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington after signing with the team Saturday. (Michael Dwyer / Associated Press)
Boston — The Boston Red Sox are hoping another touted Cuban outfielder can help them turn things around next season.
The team signed Rusney Castillo to a seven-year contract Saturday that begins immediately. Several reports indicated the deal is worth $72.5 million.
The Tigers were the other finalists to land Rusney’s services but were out of the bidding on Monday, according to Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski.
“You’re trying to build a winning team as quickly as you can, and we feel Rusney can be a part of that,” general manager Ben Cherington said during a news conference after the last-place Red Sox lost, 7-3, to Seattle, their seventh straight defeat.
“There’s obviously been some other high-profile guys coming out of Cuba,” Cherington added. “We’ve had several scouts see him over the last couple of years.”
Castillo will join fellow Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes in Boston’s new-look outfield. Trying to improve a weak lineup, the Red Sox obtained Cespedes from Oakland and Allen Craig from St. Louis at the July 31 trade deadline.
Cherington said Castillo first needs to obtain a work visa, then he’ll go to the team’s spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., to get back into game shape. The club hopes to have him play in some games in the majors before the end of the season, but he’ll likely be in the minors first.
“Our hope is once all these steps are completed that we’ll see him in some major league games in September,” Cherington said.
Castillo appeared at Fenway Park about 3 hours before the game wearing Red Sox shorts and a T-shirt. He wore No. 38 for a photo with Cherington, the same number pitcher Curt Schilling wore with the Red Sox.
“It’s really a dream come true to have this opportunity to play, especially with the success of the recent Cuban players,” Castillo said.
Orioles 3B Machado to have season-ending surgery
Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado has decided to have season-ending surgery on his ailing right knee, leaving the Orioles without one of their best players as they try for their first division title in 17 years.
Machado hurt himself on an awkward swing against the New York Yankees on Aug. 11, crumpling to the ground in the batter’s box. He tried rest in an effort to return to the AL East-leading Orioles this year, but he said the knee just isn’t getting better.
“There’s nothing else we can do,” Machado said before Baltimore’s 7-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. “Only thing is going in there and fixing it up. It’s just something it didn’t get any better at all.”
The 22-year-old Machado, who was selected by Baltimore with the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, was an All-Star and won a Gold Glove last year in his first full season in the majors. He played in every game before he sustained a similar injury to his other knee and missed the final week of the season.
He got his left knee fixed last October in California, and he likely will return to Dr. Neal ElAttrache in the next week or so for the procedure on his right knee. The previous operation included an arthroscopy and open reconstruction of the medial patellar femoral ligament.
Yankees retire Torre's No. 6
Joe Torre, who thought his managerial number was up when he was fired from his third job in the big leagues, watched his No. 6 being unveiled in Monument Park as the Yankees retired the number of the manager who led them to four World Series titles during his 12-year tenure from 1996-2007.
"When you know the neighborhood you're in out there, it's pretty cool," Torre said shortly after addressing the sellout crowd of 47,594 on Joe Torre Day. "It's unbelievable, this is the Yankees."
Torre's managerial record with the Yankees was 1,173-767. His victory total is second to Joe McCarthy (1,460).
Torre, who received a diamond ring with his number and a replica of the plaque in Monument Park, was embraced by Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who escorted Jean Zimmer, the widow of Don Zimmer, Torre's longtime bench coach.