Ex-Red Sox OF Rusney Castillo signs with Golden Eagles of Japan's NPB

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Darren Hartwell
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Farewell, Rusney Castillo: Ex-Red Sox OF is headed to Japan originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

For the first time in eight years, the Boston Red Sox will begin spring training without Rusney Castillo on their roster.

The former Red Sox outfielder has signed with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, the team announced Saturday.

Castillo came to the Red Sox from Cuba in 2014 with loads of potential, signing a massive seven-year, $72.5 million contract with Boston. He made his major league debut in September 2014 at age 27 and hit .333 over 10 games as a rookie.

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The talented outfielder never caught on, however, slashing .253/.288/.359 in 80 games played in 2015 before spending all but nine games with Triple-A Pawtucket in 2016.

Castillo didn't appear in another major league game over the next four seasons despite continuing to live in Boston in anticipation of getting the call up from Pawtucket.

His contract finally expired in October 2020, and at 33 years old, he'll attempt to continue his baseball career in Japan's top professional league.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a member of the Rakuten Eagles and am very much looking forward to playing in Japan," Castillo said in a statement on the Golden Eagles' website, as translated from Japanese to English.

"I hear that NPB is a great league, and above all, I love the disciplined culture of Japan."