In the end, the Giants couldn't compete. They were interested in Rusney Castillo, the latest sensation from Cuba, and were reportedly among a handful of teams in the running earlier this week. But Castillo was working to finalize a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox on Friday, and so ended the discussion.

What will the Giants be missing? We should know before long. The Red Sox reportedly plan to place him immediately on the big-league league roster, there to join fellow Cuban defector Yoenis Céspedes. There's nothing to lose in Boston, hopelessly out of the AL East race, so Castillo is likely to see some playing time in center field.

That's if he's not playing shortstop, a position he often played in Cuba. This is a gifted athlete, on the smaller side (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) but said to offer a rich combination of power and speed, having drawn comparisons to Kirby Puckett and Rickey Henderson.

This represents a big gamble by the Red Sox, but then again, that was the climate surrounding the signings of Céspedes, Yasiel Puig, Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman and the White Sox's likely Rookie of the Year, Jose Abreu. Cuban talent is at a premium these days, and the Giants were eager to make Castillo part of their future.