Today the New York Mets released 2B Luis Castillo. A .290 career hitter with 370 stolen bases, the three-time National League All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner has had a productive spring. In 28 Grapefruit League at-bats, Castillo hit .286 for the Mets.
After undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee last September, 2B Carlos Guillen has recently been slated to begin the season in Lakeland, Fl on a rehab assignment.
This spring, Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore have been battling it out for Guillen’s spot. Sadly neither of them are running away with the job at this point either. Sizemore is currently hitting a robust .222 and Rhymes is hitting .250. To this point Rhymes has looked much better defensively than Sizemore. Beyond that, it’s any-ones game with less than two weeks until Opening Day.
With no clear cut leader in the horse race for the Detroit Tigers 2B job I wonder if the Tigers might consider Castillo?
So, how much would he cost? Anthony DiComo of MLB.com weighs in on the financial obligations of the Mets.
In releasing him, the Mets absorbed the $6 million remaining on the four-year, $25 million contract Castillo signed prior to the 2008 season. Even if the second baseman signs with another team, the Mets will be on the hook for that money.
So what that tells me-purely speculation-Castilla could be had for relatively cheap. He is getting an estimated guaranteed $6 million from the Mets already. With less than two weeks until Opening Day it might be in Castillo’s best interest to sign a fairly cheap one year deal to re-establish value for himself. The line for his services would be relatively short.
It’s not all gravy though, Castillo does have baggage. After career-altering knee issues Castillo has watched his production at the plate suffer quite a bit last season. In just 86 games last season, he finished with a less than stellar line of .235/.337.267- a far cry from his .302 average the year before.
I personally would rather take my chances with Will Rhymes. However, it is worth noting that Castillo was a member of both the 1997 and 2003 World Series Championship teams. As we all know, Dave Dombrowski loves his former Marlins!