Friday, September 4, 2009

Is Luis Castillo "Untradeable"

In Jayson Stark's recent column, he examines the mess that is the New York Mets. Stark declares:
"So the logical solution is: Trade one or two of those stars. Re-stir the mix. And help heal the scars left by three straight seasons that turned out all wrong.

OK, that sounds logical. But now figure out which of those stars to trade. Good luck.

Santana? No way. K-Rod? They just signed him. Luis Castillo? Untradeable."
I completely agree with Stark about Santana and K-Rod, but I take issue with the notion that Castillo in untradeable. I know the Castillo has become a popular whipping boy because of his terrible 2008 season and the famous "dropped ball" at Yankee Stadium this season. But if you look past that, you'll see that Castillo has put together a phenomenal 2009 season.

Here are his 2009 numbers: .308, 1 HR, 34 RBI, .397 OBP, 15 SB

Now say what you want about the horrific 2009 Mets, but the bottom line is this: even though Castillo was surrounded by a supporting cast littered with injured stars, struggling players, and AAAA players; Castillo's performance has been fantastic this season.

So why does Stark think that the soon to be 34 year old Castillo is untradeable? Two words: the contract. GM Omar Minaya signed Castillo to a 4 year/$26 million dollar contract after the Mets' collapse in 2007. The deal seemed excessive at the time because how many GMs would commit to a 32 year old slap happy second baseman for four years? Not many.

But at this point, it's hard to say that Castillo's contract makes him untradeable. He is owed $12 million over the next two years, which is not a horrible by any stretch of the imagination. Is Castillo still somewhat overpaid? Sure, you can say that. But in the right situation, he could be a very valuable piece for a contending team. The Mets might have to pick up some of the tab, but calling Luis Castillo "untradeable" after the season he just put together is unfair.



Bill said...

First of all, I love it when you title posts with questions to which you would answer no, because then google reader makes it look like:

"Is Luis Castillo 'Untradeable'?
Jorge Says No!"
But I digress.

I think he is untradeable, because of that contract, and it's not the money so much as the years. I bet any team would've taken on the rest of his $8mm or whatever for 2009, but then you've still got 2010 and '11 to contend with.

UZR thinks his defense has gone from great to average to bad to worse in the last 4-5 years. And when you're talking about a 34 year old 2B, there's only one direction in which the next step after that can go. His bat made up for the ten runs this year, but will a probably slightly declining bat make up for the 12-15 runs next year? And will he hit enough to be somebody's 1B or 3B or DH in 2011? Probably not.

Eddie said...

Alfonso Soriano is the most untradeable player in MLB. As a Cubs fan, it kills me to even consider our future with Sori: another 5 years and payroll-strangling $90 million for a player who has performed BELOW replacement level as a 33 year old. How's that going to look when he's 36? At this pointm there is only one contract in all of baseball that I would not agree to trading Soriano for: The indefensible Vernon Wells pact that will be an albatross around Toronto's neck well into the next decade. I would trade Sori for Zito, for Helton, for Hafner, hell even for the corpse of Dontrelle Willis. ANYTHING to get out from under the last couple of years of that deal so we can begin to rebuild.

Jorge Says No! said...


I agree that Castillo's defense is shotty at best, but Castillo actually only has two years remaining on his contract. I think teams could do a lot worse at 2b than Castillo, who even though he's 34, still is hitting almost .300 in a horrible lineup and will come close to putting up a .400 OBP. He's one of the best #2 hitters in baseball right now. If the Mets had any sort of support behind him, then Castillo easily could've scored 100+ runs this season and probably would've had higher numbers all across the board.

Jorge Says No! said...

Here's a interesting thought: as a Cubs fan, would you trade Soriano for Vernon Wells if the offer was on the table and both guys agreed to waive their no trade?