What’s going to happen with Castillo?

I know you guys don’t want to hear this, but it’s looking more like Luis Castillo will be at second base for the Mets next season.

STOP! Give me a minute to duck while you throw your laptop.

I believe he’ll return for the following reasons: 1) the Mets don’t want to eat his $18 million contract by cutting him, or most of it in a trade; and 2) they believe his value to them is in the hope he’ll bounce back, especially since they don’t think they have a viable second baseman to step in.

Daniel Murphy was a good idea, but for now they like him in left, probably in a platoon with Fernando Tatis, because that answers one question immediately. Or so they hope.

Castillo played well for them in spurts in 2007 and they are banking on him returning to that form.

I’m not saying it’s etched in stone, and I know they’d love to trade him, but the other teams see what’s happened to Castillo, too, and recognize a bad contract when they see one.

20 thoughts on “What’s going to happen with Castillo?

  1. Its important for him to stay. Met fans need someone on the team to hate. This will keep them from hating the new closer (the usual target) for a while.

  2. I think the Mets should take a serious look at Juan Rivera from the Angels.

    He’s an FA, will not command anything close to a lucrative deal and when he has been given the opportunity to play regularly, he has hit well.

    I know Minaya has liked him in the past, so this is a chance to do something about it. I am just not totally comfortable with the Murphy/Tatis platoon in LF. While I think Tatis will continue to hit for some power, I don’t expect him to hit near .300 again and with Murphy, who admittedly is a step ahead of the curve because of his approach at the plate, you still don’t know what he’s going to be after only two big league months.

    I don’t need all-stars at every position, but if the Mets are serious about competing for a title, they need to have an upgrade in the corner spot. Either in RF or LF, in which case they could move Church over, if need be.

    The name of the game is pitching and that is what they should mainly focus on in the early going, but I don’t like what I’m hearing in the “offense is fine” department.

    It could use a little help.

  3. This really is disappointing. I get such a negative vibe from him … I can understand the Mets not wanting to throw away $18M, but tere has to be someone out there that would be ammendable to swap — Omar did trade Mota, didn’t he?

  4. roksolid-I’m in agreement. This is what bothers me about the Wilpons as opposed to the boys across town.

    I know it’s a lot of money and it’s easy for me to sit here and say, “eat it.” But I wish they’d do it every now and then.

    If he’s around still, I won’t be happy. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, so even if they did trade, who knows who’d come back…but there is something about the guy I don’t like, as you said.

  5. metsman8669 (#2): I am also not totally sold on the Tatis/Murphy tandem in LF … I was hoping that maybe Jermaine Dye could come over and fill that spot … power hitting righ-handed outfield bat … Tatis could be a bat off the bench and part-time right-fielder to spell Church …. I don;t see Murphy as a second-baseman over the long haul, but he could fit there if LF has a solid full-time power hitter.

  6. Castillo might be the greatest guy in thew world, but his punch-and-judy approach drives me nuts … so does his lazy approach to running to first base … he does not appear to hustle and I think that is inexcusable. If anyone counters this by bringing up his knee surgeries, then my answer is that he should not be out on the field if he cannot give 100% …. he should not get a pass for not hustling becausee he is still recuperating … he is either 100% healthy and gives 100% on the field, or he should be disabled.

    I just do not like what I see in him … boy, what a $25M mistake that was.

  7. What’s funny is I didn’t think that the money was the real issue. I mean, $6mm/year is not that big of a deal.

    But the four years was ludicrous and the fact that he played as poorly as he did (which I wasn’t expecting) makes him virtually untradeable.

    I don’t like his style much either, but if he’s going to start the season in NY, I hope he can get back to the .280ish range, at least. That will make him serviceable in the two-hole.

  8. Here’s Omar’s reaction to a question posed for an article in this morning’s paper.

    Q. “Will the precarious state of the economy have an impact on how teams pursue free agents?”

    A. “That’s the question I ask other GMs” Mets General Manager Omar Minaya said Sunday. “You have to be prepared before you spend. You have to ask yourself – What’s going on around us? The industry as a whole has to be a little bit on hold. Historically, sports has been immune from some factors in the economy. But this one is something like a perfect storm.”

    That’s an interesting comment from the “Big O”.

  9. (8) Annie, I couldn’t agree more.

    Last year, red flags went off for me when Omar started talking about how the “brand” was healthy, and that “4 million fans” were coming to the ballpark.

    I don’t want to hear GMs talking about that stuff, at all.

    Talk about winning the World Series, the need for a right-handed power hitter (and Tatis is NOT that guy), and how Aaron Heilman is going to be a big key for this team in 2009.

    That keeps the fans happy, lets other GMs know what the Mets are looking for, and finally, could raise Heilman’s value a lot on the open market, even if it is only GM-speak.

    The ecomony and metaphors are not something I need from Minaya.

  10. “he does not appear to hustle and I think that is inexcusable. If anyone counters this by bringing up his knee surgeries, then my answer is that he should not be out on the field if he cannot give 100% ”

    Hate toi break your theory but when you play at less than 100% you l;ook like you are not hustling altho you very well might be. The fact he was not disabled was as much the blame as the incompetant Met front office as it was Castillo’s. There handling of players not at full strenght was abysmal, Castillo, Church, El Duque in Spring Training, Alou… If a guy is not healthy and the tewam doesn’t DL him, the blame is on the organization for giving us guys who aren’t ready to play.

  11. Mark…he was asked a direct question, in this instance at least. What was he supposed to say? ‘No comment?’

  12. Harry (#10): With all due respect, blaming the Mets organization for Castillo’s perceived lack of hustle is a cop out in my opinion. I agree that from everything I’ve read about what went on with the concussions, the Mets handling of Church was terrible. I know that even when he was playing and not 100% physically, I never looked at him and thought that he was not giving his all — I never thought he was not hustling.

    However, I am not a doctor and was not privied to the Mets internal discussions or handlings on Alou (hernia then pulled muscle) or El Duque (bad foot). These were very different situations and I will not pretend to know whether the Mets did or did not handle them improperly.

    What I do know is what I see in Castillo — either an consistently injured player who cannot hustle or a healthy player who chooses not to hustle … either way, I do not want him on my team and cannot fathom why anyone would pay him $25M over 4-years under either scenario.

  13. (12)Rok-Harry blames EVERYTHING on the Mets front office. If you drop some food on your shirt today, that is Omar’s fault too. He didn’t stockpile enough backup napkins so that wouldn’t happen.

    Please tell me how the Mets “mishandled” the Alou and El Duque injuries. Let’s put aside the fact that the two of them combined are about 100 years old and that one had a hernia and then pulled a muscle because of said age, and one had a bunion which required surgery he himself did not want until he finally realized he had to in August.

  14. rocksolidmets (12): Your opinion is fine guy ,but when I saw Church when he came back he looked like a pouting, not hustling guy, just like Castillo and just like Alou and just like Beltran when he playd with the sore legs. I think Castillo has become the guy Mets fans love to hate so his every move is seen as bad and evil, just like Benitiez and Looper etc.
    metsman (13)
    How did the mets misgandle Alou: Simple they gave a guy who proved he was incapable of playing half the season an extra year, then they played him when he was injured and he was lost completely for the entire season. How did they mis handle El Duque. Also simple. A guy who had also proven he could not pitch a full year was given a multi year contract agaion by Omar the Great. If Omar is so great and I am wrong how come since he came here and played with the highest payroll in the NL he got the playoffs one entire time. I’m not asking him for the WS flag because it is pot luck but hat big payroll and all we have for it is one NLEAST flag and the the reputation as the greatest bunch of chokes in baseball. Two years in a row. Yes, Omar deserves the blame. Omar slept two years in a row at the trading deadline while his over worked and under talented bullpen collapsed. Omar panicked in’06 when he had an insurmountable lead.
    And we don’t put aside the problems and the age. They are proof of Omar Minaya’s incompetance as a GM.
    Do you want to know how I really feel about Omar. And you don’t think stockpiling depth in an organization is the job of the GM? You don’t think its important? You think the 25 man roster ever survives for 162 games?

  15. Delcos (14) Oh indeed Delcos. Look at Met fandom in the last 20 or so years.
    Francoi was hated until Benitez was more hated until Looper was even more hated, Wagner was not so much hated mainly in 07 because the fans learned to hate the rest of the pen so much and was pretty much left off the hook in ’08 despite 7 blown saves from May to early Aug because Castillo became the guy. Even Heilman who was absolutely hideous has never been accused of all this crap about not hustling like Castillo has been. He is the guy. Lucky him.

  16. (15) I think you like to complain.

    You didn’t say squat about signing Alou/Hernandez. You said they “mishandled” their injuries. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    But you go on thinking you’re right and blaming Omar Minaya for everything. Afterall, he’s the one who put them in position to have playoff appearances all but locked up for three straight seasons.

    But I guess because the team finds ways to gag over the final 17 games, he gets all of the blame.

    The team is averaging 90 wins since he took over. He’s made his share of mistakes…like any GM. I’m still trying to figure out where this “depth” the Mets had when he got here went?

    Right…Heath Bell, the guy who got plenty of chances during ’05 and ’06 and pissed them away with poor performances. Oh…and Brian Bannister!!! He of the 4.20 ERA in 10 games in 2006!!!! Yes!!!! He of the 16 losses and 5+ ERA last year!!! And don’t forget Henry Owens…who not only blew out his shoulder but has now been suspended 50 games for performance enhancing drugs.

    Matt Lindstrom has pitched well, overall, but you knew a RELIEVER in AA was going to do that when the Mets traded him for rotation depth…you know, the REAL problem after 2006? Or did you forsee the bullpen going from one of the best to one of the worst??

    And Omar sleeping at the trade deadline. Yep…I guess I was too, cuz I missed all of those sure-fire winners that have changed teams. Which is it? Omar has gotten rid of the depth or Omar didn’t trade at the deadline? You need one to do the other? Please inform me.

    The only thing Omar has done that is unwise is sign certain players (El Duque/Castillo) to poor contracts. The Alou contract was perfectly fine. What wasn’t fine was counting on him to stay healthy.

    Know your facts before you rip into someone. Cuz your reasoning makes ZERO sense.

  17. I’m going to do this because I want to prove my point. Here are Minaya’s moves since he came here.

    A)signed Pedro and overpaid–had to which cost the team draft picks

    -ditto for Beltran

    -traded Mike Cameron for Xavier Nady

    -traded Mike Jacobs and others for Delgado, Jacobs is nothing but a free-swinger and horrible with the glove

    -traded youngsters for Lo Duca–not one has panned out yet

    -signed Billy Wagner–forfeited draft picks

    -traded Jae Seo for Duaner Sanchez–

    -traded Kris Benson for Jorge Julio/John Maine

    -traded Julio for El Duque–the El Duque who pitched brilliantly when he was on the mound

    -traded Kaz Matsui for Eli Marerro-Kaz was lost here

    -traded Nady for Roberto Hernandez/Oliver Perez–horrible luck, if not for the taxi accident, I’m convinced Mets at least win NL pennant

    -traded nothing for Mota

    -traded nothing for Shawn Green

    -signed Alou to one-year deal with option for second, total cost about $16mm

    -signed Schoeneweis-mistake, as was letting Bradford go. He misjudged the reliever market.

    -signed El Duque to extension-the only problem was that it was for TWO years

    -traded Heath Bell for Ben Johnson-not a good trade, but how many chances did Bell need? Over 60 appearances in ’05-’06

    -traded Lindstrom/Owens for Vargas/Bostick-has not worked out to this point, but again, you don’t seem to get this, the Mets problem after ’06 was their rotation, going into the ST that year, it was Glavine, Perez (3-13 in ’06), Maine (15 starts in ’06), El Duque and Pelfrey. THE BULLPEN WAS FINE. Vargas had a very solid ’05 rookie campaign and even now, is still only 26

    -traded Brian Bannister for Ambiorix Burgos-bad trade because the guy is obviously a bit nuts, but look what I found today, a post from the star-ledger talking about youthful relievers who can strike people out!!! I guess the 22-y/o Burgos and his 100-mph fastball don’t fit that mold. But yeah, NY should have kept around a guy who just lost 16 games and had an ERA over five this year. And this also goes against everything you’re saying. He traded away relievers (Lindstrom/Owens), so he tried to get a more MLB-ready reliever BACK. Which is it?

    -picked up Fernando Tatis

    -traded nothing for Luis Castillo

    -picked up Marlon Anderson

    -re-signed Castillo-POOR move

    -traded Milledge for Church/Schneider. Jury is out. I personally think Church can be a 20-25 homer guy with 85-95 RBI playing regularly and he was showing that until he got hurt. How you can sit there with a straight face and talk about Church dogging it is beyond my comprehension. The guy busted his ass day-in, day-out. If it looked like that, maybe it was because his brain was scrambled.

    -traded for arguably the best pitcher in the game in Santana…but yeah, heshould not have and kept Gomez, Humber and Guerra

    -picked up Brian Stokes

    -didn’t trade away the “depth” you so crave at the deadline for mediocre middle relievers

    Please…refute my comments.

  18. Harry,

    You say Omar slept at the trade deadline this year. Who would you give up for what kind of player that would have made us a better team? I am not saying this year. I mean for the next 2 or 3 years?

    We have a thin farm. Unless we were trading for CC and signed him to an extension or went out and got a closer or at least a good #8 what makes us better immediately and for the future?

  19. There is no way Castillo could be on this team. he will rot on the bench. Manuel does not like him. hell he played Ramon Martinez over him in the last week of the season. He will be dealt off like Kaz Matsui was for practically nothing