The inevitable finally occurred..
Luis Castillo, who wasn’t having a bad spring offensively, was finally released today. However, staying with the Mets, unless somebody picks him up, will be the $6 million the club owns him.
The Wilpons frequently have been criticized for refusing to eat bad contracts and there was speculation Castillo might stick. I thought he’d at least last the weekend.
However, in the end, the negativity Castillo brought, his declining defensive ability and the belief he wasn’t much better – if at all than his competition – were the overriding factors in ridding the organization of one of its most scorned players in its history.
Sandy Alderson made the announcement: “After a long evaluation during spring training, after consulting with [manager] Terry [Collins] and the coaching staff, I made a recommendation to ownership in the best interest of the organization and Louie that he be released. Ownership approved.’’
Indeed, the culture has changed.
Collins was never enamored with Castillo, starting for his failure to notify the manager he wouldn’t report early because of a family emergency. A simple phone call could have diffused things.
Twice Castillo reported to spring training out of shape. There were times he didn’t hustle, including this week when he failed to cover first base. His defense and range were in decline. He was injury prone. He had one good season with the bat, hardly enough to justify the four-year, $24 million contract former GM Omar Minaya awarded him.