Nov 17

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.

Nov 17

Chat Room Tonight …. 7 p.m.

I’ll be hosting a Mets Chat Room tonight at 7 p.m. Come armed with your questions and comments. Among the topics that could be on the table:

1. Fuentes or K-Rod or somebody else?

2. Will they really keep Castillo at second base?

3. Now that he’s signed, should they think about trading Carlos Delgado?

4. What should they do with Aaron Heilman and Pedro Martinez?

My thinking is Fuentes over K-Rod; it looks like Castillo could stay; ditto Delgado; they’ll probably bring back both. Let’s have yours.

Nov 16

So grateful ….

I logged on this morning with my fingers crossed … hoping for a comment because I didn’t like how things unraveled and wasn’t sure if you’d get the message.

Thanks guys.

The free-agent market is underway, and we know the Yankees are being piggy again. Or are they? They want to win and they are going for it. That’s something you have to admire. But, in looking at the Yankees’ riches, what truly separates them from the pack is not only the ability to throw out a figure like $140 million to CC Sabathia as a starting spot, but to take a hit.

They can overcome a bad move by throwing more money at the situation, something other teams – including your Mets – can’t do, or aren’t willing to take the risk.

That’s why I don’t see them making the big K-Rod splash, which, to listen to his agent, begins at $75 million over five years. The Mets are thinking three, which would be more acceptable to their thinking.

Here’s what’s going through Omar Minaya’s mind right now:

1. With $11 million tied up in Billy Wagner, who won’t throw a pitch for them this year, the Mets can’t see investing $26 million for the closer role.

2. Rodriguez has already lost three mph. off his fastball and has become reliant on his change. On the surface that doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but if he loses anymore it closes the gap on his change and makes it less effective.

3. His delivery is violent with a lot of torque. Scouts fear an injury. It’s bound to happen within the life of the contract. However, three years might be a different story.

4. In examining the 29 blown saves, seven came in the ninth inning, which averages out to a reasonable one a month. Brian Fuentes would come cheaper and would likely come close to that conversion rate. The bullpen’s collapse primarily came in the seventh and eighth innings. For the price of K-Rod, the Mets could get a closer and another reliever.

Nov 15

My new home ….

First things first, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Joe McDonald setting me up in the first place, which led me to Gotham Baseball.

I didn’t like leaving suddenly, but it was a circumstance beyond my control and I got blocked out before I was able to post a forwarding address. I learned from Gannett and have been collecting email addresses and many of you received a note telling you of this site. The site is still under construction, but we’ll make do for now.

That I would continue this blog, I hope, tells you of my commitment for covering the Mets for you. Please accept my apologies for the awkward departure, and my gratitude for your interest. I do the blog because you folks have been loyal to me.

Thank you, and let’s talk Mets.

Nov 13

Wright wins Silver Slugger ….

WRIGHT: Silver Slugger winner (Photo: Mets).

WRIGHT: Silver Slugger winner (Photo: Mets).

David Wright, one of the “core,” if you will, won his second straight Silver Slugger Award today. Despite setting career highs in homers (33), RBI (124) and runs scored (115), there are some who say the Mets should break up their core of Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.

Said Wright, a three-time All-Star: “It’s a very prestigious award and I am proud to win it. This honor will help motivate me to even an even better season in 2009.”

Wright is the first Met with four 100-RBI seasons. He is also the third third baseman in history (Eddie Mathews and Eric Chavez are the others) with four straight seasons of at least 25 homers prior to his 26th birthday.