Friday, February 5, 2010

N-O-Dog, Kennedy for the Mets, Is It Still Worth Dealing Castillo?

I realize this is still wishful thinking (and some might ask why I'm obsessed with moving Castillo), but after the signings of O-Dog and Adam Kennedy yesterday, I was wondering if the Mets COULD move Castillo, if it is even worth it at this point.  And after thinking about this question for a good period of time, I came to the conclusion that IF the Mets CAN they SHOULD move Castillo.  Now here's why...

If the Mets are willing to enter the season with Castillo as their second baseman they are basically admitting they are unable to move him, not that they necessarily have confidence in him as their 2B.  That is not the type of mind-set a player ready to succeed has going into a season, "I am here because no one else wanted me."  And as I have said before Castillo brought losing with him.  Not that I can blame everything that's happened to the Mets since his arrival on him, it is fairly coincidental that since he's been here there have been two monumental collapses and a throw-away season. 

So the question now is, because of a limited free agent market, is it worth trading him if the options out there to fill the hole seem less than awesome.  I'm going to say yes, but only under certain circumstances, and here are the options and issues the Mets have to deal with in order to make this happen.


First, the big problem, finding someone who would take Castillo. 

For a while the Indians were in on Hudson, and seemed to be the runner-up for his services.  Clearly, they are unhappy with their current second baseman, Luis Valbuena, or at the least feel he needs some more seasoning before they can turn over the full-time 2B job to him.  I think the Mets could potentially have a match for Castillo with the Indians, who have seemingly lost faith in Fausto Carmona.  I wrote about this idea in an earlier blog you can read about here, but recently with all this talk of the Indians looking to upgrade 2B, I'm starting to think it's not that crazy of an idea.  The salaries work out almost exactly, and it gives the Indians a serviceable player at 2B while the Mets can take a shot with Carmona (26 years old) in their rotation.  Personally, I would do it if I were either team...

The Replacements

Say, the Mets can move Castillo, the next issue is finding a new 2B.  I have two potential solutions here, but neither are great. The way I see it they could go either defense or offense...

The first one is to "sure-up" defense up the middle and use Anderson Hernandez there until the trade deadline rolls around.  Why not go for the defensive second-baseman who has some speed?  I understand that Hernandez has no power and hasn't hit too well on the Major League level, but I could live with his nice glove and speed, .250 average and .300 OBP if it means getting rid of Castillo, and potentially upgrading the staff with Carmona.

The second option is for the Mets to open up the purse and give Felipe Lopez some money to play 2B.  Lopez would definitely give the Mets a little pop at 2B, as he hit .310 with a .383 OBP last year while hitting 9 homers and driving in over 50 runs.  The things that worry me about Lopez are his propensity to be traded.  This guy has been on 5 teams since 2006, and if that isn't a red-flag I don't know what is.  The other is that I've seen him field many times, and contrary to what the stats might say, he is not a very good fielder, as his range leaves something to be desired.  But his bat, might be worth adding, and then making good use of the money they paid Cora by using him as a late-inning defensive substitute.

Overall, at this point with O-Dog off the market, I'm going to assume any fire the Mets had to deal Castillo is pretty much done, and we're looking at him at least until the trade deadline.  Then who knows what might happen...

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