Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why Can't We Move Luis Castillo?

I don't get it, do you? Do the Mets actually have a plan this offseason, or have they been blowing smoke up our collective fan "ass"? Is $6 million per year over two years really the albatross that is keeping this team down from other movement? Does Luis Castillo have a contagious disease? Why does nobody want this guy? I have no idea, but here are a few questions I really would like answered about Luis Castillo and the Mets this offseason.

- Are the Mets really having this hard of a time moving Luis Castillo? Or are they waiting for a "better deal"?

Coming into the offseason, and more specifically going into the Winter Meetings, we were told the Mets were looking to move Luis Castillo, get starting pitching help, and sign a left-fielder. They've only done one of those, so far, and it's got to be because Castillo is immovable right? Around the majors there are at least six teams that are considering obtaining a second baseman. For argument's sake let's say the Nationals, Indians, Mariners, Cubs, Rays and maybe the Royals are at the least willing to look into upgrading their second base hole. Of those teams, the Mariners, Royals and Indians strike me as teams with serious motivations to trade for a second baseman. The Mariners might be interested in Castillo due to their desire to move Jose Lopez to first base because this guy is too big, and entirely too slow to play second base. The Royals have Jose Guillen, who is a trade waiting to happen, and although I don't necessarily want him on the Mets, it's more addition by subtraction for both teams. And finally, over the last week Cleveland is supposed to be looking into upgrading their 2B play. And although I'm really not sure how much of a defensive upgrade Castillo is over Luis Valbuena, he is a sizeable OBP upgrade. I wrote about why this deal makes sense here, but the short of it is close to equal payroll and both can bring upside, while addressing a hole on each team. If they have the ability to move him, I say move him for ANYTHING you can get, and if you don't like the return, how about considering the next question...

-Can the Mets really not afford to kick in some money on a Castillo deal to get it done?

It's $6 million. That's it. I know I'm not paying the bill here and that seems like nothing comparatively. How can you not pay some of this guy's salary to get him out the door? I'm concerned that the reason the Mets are yet to deal Castillo is because they are unwilling to eat some of his salary. Which got me thinking...

-Can't we just release the guy?

If we cannot afford to release Luis Castillo and pay his salary without handcuffing the team on the field than we probably have bigger issues as an organization. Sure, I think they should have tried everything they could have to move him first, but isn't releasing him an option? Isn't it worth it if the organization sees Hudson as a big upgrade on the field to make whatever move necessary to bring him in. Or...

-Is it worse to bench Castillo and bring in a starter than to release him outright?

Can't the Mets just go out and upgrade 2B, bring in Hudson, and put Castillo on the bench. $6 million on the bench may not be worth it, but isn't it about putting the best product on the field? At this point to me, I'd rather release and upgrade, than have him disgruntled on the bench, but either way, this should be an option. Because, I REALLY WANT TO KNOW...

-Is $6 million dollars REALLY keeping the Mets from making other moves?

Like I said earlier, I realize that the Mets have a budget (although it's not set according to reports) like all major league teams, but did Castillo's contract keep them for reaching on Sheets? Reports said the Mets were willing to go $7 million or so, and Sheets signed for $10 million. To me, if you add Castillo's $6 million, that seems like enough to make up that difference, with money to spare.

I hate to say this, but let's be a little more like the Yankees, call Castillo a bust, move him, eat the money and do what we have to do to WIN. It's okay to look at the Yankees and say, of course they won, but look at how much they spent to do it. But isn't that an investment in your fans and the organization? Isn't it worth it to spend extra to win, in a league where big payrolls usually equal big results? If the Mets cannot afford to take on extra salary, maybe the Madoff thing really did hurt the Mets more than people want us to think. I mean, Madoff took George Costanza's iToilet money, so why couldn't he have taken the Mets?


  1. He and Omar are pals. I think this isn't as cut and dry as we'd all like it to be.

  2. I think that the mets are saving money for the next season... Remember that good player coming out for the marker in 2011. But yes, they should eat castillo money and go after hudson. that should be a nice upgrade.

  3. Why do you keep talking about $6 million? It's $12 million. $6 million per year for 2010 and 2011. That makes the challenge of moving him and the dollars lost for keeping him while signing someone else much more substantial. The idea of signing Hudson while benching Castillo means you aren't asking if Hudson is worth his contract. You are asking if the DIFFERENCE between Hudson and Castillo is worth Hudson's whole contract.

  4. Omar should NOT have signed Cora to 2 Million. Instead put Castillo on the bench in that role if they couldn't move him and sign Hudson to play 2B.When and if he signs for 5 Million dollars to play for Washington all Mets fans including myself will be even more pissed off then we are now. As I have said the 2011 New York Mets will have a new Manager and a new General Manager. Please people don't be upset at ownership they spend the money. Be pissed at Omar for not spending it correctly.

  5. Luis Castillo could never play shortstop, which is what Cora was primarily signed for. Reyes is coming off an injury and may need rest or may hit the DL at some point, so a solid defensive backup is needed. Castillo's lollipop throws barely make it to first in time when he's throwing from the 2B position. He is slow and has no range. As a backup he is useless. However, that doesn't mean that the Mets didn't hideously overpay for Cora, because they surely did.

  6. It's obvious that the real problem here is Wilpon's refusal to eat anyone's salary. That's why we still have Omar.

  7. I just don't get it either, especially when you see teams very willing to eat most of the MUCH LARGER salaries of Mike Lowell and Gary Matthews, Jr. in a trade.

    I'd venture to guess that if the Mets offered up Castillo plus half his remaining salary, someone out there would bite. Either way, I'd go ahead and sign Orlando Hudson right now, and then continue trying to trade Castillo throughout the spring.

  8. In response to the question about why I keep saying $6 million...

    It's because teams consider payroll per season, so while I understand it's 2 years $12 mill left on his contract, it's really only 6 million in terms of what the Mets would actually pay in 2010, and then again in 2011...

    Regardless, it's only $6 million for a major market team, and should be able to be eaten.

  9. I don't understand the obsession with unloading Luis Castillo. He was a vaguely productive hitter last season who played below average defense. He wasn't terrible -- that distinction should be reserved for Oliver Perez.

    Castillo is owed $12 million over the next two seasons. To move him, I would expect the Mets to need pay at least $10 million of that salary. Otherwise, the available free agents would look more attractive.

    The Mets would then have to spend more money to sign Orlando Hudson (or some other replacement.) Hudson is said to still be hoping for a $9 million deal; the Washington Nationals have reportedly offered $3 million and so far that's not getting it done. I'd guess it will take at least $5 million to get him signed.

    So tell me, is Orlando Hudson really a $15 million player in your eyes? I don't see it.

    Next year, the Mets should eat however much of the $6 million they'll still owe Castillo and move on. They'll also need to be prepared to eat the $12 million they owe Oliver Perez in 2011 if he can't turn it around.

    But for now, I can see why they want to send them both out there for one more season and hope for the best.

  10. I think the reason the Mets don't "eat" Castillo's contract either via trade or release is because they also would have to pay the salary of his replacement (ie. $5mil per for Hudson). Meaning you would be essentially paying $11mil for Hudson to play 2b. To me, I think they should just do it and become a better team. But obviously, they see it differently. If they had an inexpensive option in the minors such as Reese Havens, maybe the would consider cutting Castillo.
    This to me marks the difference between the Wilpons and the Steinbrenners or any other winning organization. It seems as Fred, Jeff and Omar are only willing to do so much. These guys just don't complete the job. After the tease of 2006 they should have try to put the finishing pieces on the team but failed to do so and we've been living with their stubborness ever since. Get ready for more disappointment Mets fans.

  11. I believe the reason the Mets are unable to find a trade partner for Castillo is because teams have appropriately identified him as a player with rapidly diminishing returns. You're talking about a player with a questionable work ethic (i.e., 2008), declining speed, no range, limited fundamentals at 2B (does he know how to charge a ball?), no power and no ability to drive in runs. Yes, his OBP is nice and I'm sure he is a pleasant person, but really, why would another team want Luis Castillo?

  12. My obsession with moving Castillo comes from his arrival immediately followed by two late season collapses and a disastrous 2009. He brought a black cloud over Queens...

    And just to throw out a hypothetical...

    Would fans care about how much we were paying a second baseman if we were winning?

    I think it's because Mets fans don't want to feel like they have to justify a big payroll without results, and are tired of hearing about that...

  13. Bringing up Jose Guillen shows how out of the loop you are. Unlike Garry Matthews Jr, Guillen is a clubshouse cancer, makes Jeff Francoeur look like a usefull player and also had a no trade clause to the Mets in his contract.

    Also do a little research on Hudson.
    In 2009 Hudson had a great April and May.
    From June on his numbers were not that good.
    Hudson could be a be risk.

  14. The point about Guillen was that he's the same type of player (no one wants him), and got me thinking about why dropping Castillo wasn't an option rather than pick up a guy like that...

    It was used to transition to my next thought, it was NOT brought up as a feasible option...

  15. Name ONE player that had this much remaining on his contract that the Yankees released. I can't think of any.

  16. Off the top of my head...

    Although they did not release him, they have "sat on" bigger salaried players and paid them without getting anything out of them.

    See Kei Igawa 5 years $20 million...who has not played for the team since 2008 (year 2 of his contract).

  17. bigger in terms of contractual obligation overall...not yearly.

  18. I feel the Angels have a very good team. How much money did they eat to send Gary Matthews Jr. 21.5 million. Good teams do what it takes to win. Castillo is the most disliked Met and should be considered a weak link he's NOT a starting 2B anymore. And someone please tell me who our number 2 pitcher is? Anyone? It's sad it really is!

  19. @paulsrandomstuff:

    Castillo WAS horrendous in the field and his range really costs the Mets. He never charges balls and most Met fans I know hold their breath when a grounder or pop-up (a-hem) is hit his way.

    Yes, Ollie Perez can be awful, but he can only be awful every 5th day.... whereas Castillo is awful EVERY day.

  20. The reason the Mets can't get rid of Castillo is two reasons. One, they're not showing willigness to eat part of it. Two, they waited to long. Castillo was never worth 1 year/6 million. Considering Belliard got less than 1 million, I'd say the most Castillo could grab on the open market is 2.5 to 3 million. The Mets would have to eat about 7 million to get it done.

    That is why I view it as 7 million wasted. You'd think why not just trade with the Royals? A healthy Gil Meche may be worth 2 year/18 million. Maybe not at this point of the off-season. But 7 million is arguably wasted on his deal too. They already got Chris Getz from the Cubs though. That is why I said they waited too long. It isn't so much this year that'll be a burden to holding onto to him. It is next year. Even if Murphy is doing well though, it'll be hard for them to move him into the 2 slot because Castillo moving down to 8th means Blanco would be the 7 hitter every other day. There is no way Castillo is batting 7th either.

  21. Don't get me wrong, if the mets were to trade castillo today and sign hudson i would be very happy, but all this talk of cutting him, or just paying to get rid of him is crazy talk. Lets not forget he was very good at the plate last year and without having anyone around him. I think he can do that at plate again, especially with reyes in front of him and wright, beltran and bay behind him. He should get plenty of pitches to hit. I know his skills in the field have fallen back a bit, but he's not awful. I'm not sure how this season will play out for the Mets, but I can gaurantee this, if we don't win the world series, it won't Luis Castillo's fault.

  22. i agree with Silvestricles's view that Castillo is a black cloud over the Mets, actually i call him a jinx over the Mets and especially Reyes. Since his arrival, Reyes either hit poorly or injured, the only time Reyes hit well was when Castillo was on the DL and away from the team during 2008. And his infamous dropped pop was the turning point last year, it took the heart out of the team. The Coupons are too cheap to own a team in NY.

  23. The Angels ate 20 million on Gary Matthews Jr. and then of course they found a sucker (Mets) to take him. Even worse the Mets gave away another reliever who throws 93-95 mph with a good curve (who never got a fair and consistent shot). The last time it was Heath Bell. Same thing, 95 mph, good curve but somehow the Mets can't figure out how to get most out of the player. Stokes will be a solid set up man, Heath Bell is now a closer and Gary Matthew Jr. stinks, period. He did have one great year and then ......... well its not to hard to figure what happened.

  24. Mets must have a complete makeover and it MUST start with the ridding of Omar. He has no clue how to judge talent. Can't build a farm system to save his life and has bias to certain players. Instead of helping the team, he creates albatrosses that inhibit the team from growing. How many GM's would love his bankroll. Worst GM in the game.

  25. why does everyone hate castillo for g-d sake

  26. Basically what it boils down to, in my opinion, is the fact that even if the mets do keep Castillo they will get nothing out of him this year causing them to either eat his salary or trade him off. They might as well have done it now rather than later. Now as far as Cora replacing Reyes, yes Cora is decent but 2mil for him plus the contract they gave to catalanotto, tatis, fogg, and whoever else they scraped to get could have been avoided and they could have just gotten orlando hudson. Granted tatis was a good utility man but who knows what he will give this year, and instead of cora covering reyes the mets can always put a farm hand to cover for reyes or have orlando hudson cover ss with castillo at 2b.

  27. Defense aside, and this guy is a former Gold Glover, he is the perfect 1-2 for Reyes, he makes contact doesn't strike out much and has enough speed and OBP to be a great-table setter for the heart of our lineup. I think the Mets have a bigger problem with Murphy, this guy is a bench player masquerading as your 1Bman.