So Omar Minaya saw three months of Luis Castillo last year and decided, “You know what? That’s the guy I want playing second base for the next four years.” Really? This actually happened? I mean, I guess he was kind of barely adequate. He batted .296 with a .371 on-base percentage, which is kind of decent. Granted, he showed absolutely no power (which is par for the course for him), and he clearly wasn’t as fast as he was in his prime. He just turned 32, which means he’s going to be 36 by the time this contract ends. I don’t know, I just don’t think slap hitters who have relied on their speed, whose speed is quickly declining, have a tendency to age particularly well. I wouldn’t have bet on Castillo being a starter in two years, let alone four, but apparently, that’s a gamble Omar Minaya is willing to take.
Really, this is just a bad idea. Luis Castillo is one of the lingering members of last year’s collapse. I’m sure many remember how he struck out with first and third and one out on JC Romero during a point where the Mets could have taken the lead, or his key defensive blunders during key moments of the Phillies and Cardinals games down the stretch. I just can’t fathom that the team saw this aging player, one who is still trying to bunt for base hits despite speed that is rapidly betraying him, and thinking, “You know what, let’s bring this guy back for a few years.” Ruben Gotay is a better hitter RIGHT NOW than Luis Castillo. It is debateable whether he is better defensively, but it’s probably not as huge a gap as you think, and really, Gotay’s major problem is turning the double play. This can’t be improved?
I just can’t understand why the team would think Luis Castillo is a better choice to play second base the next four years, at $25 million, when Ruben Gotay is at WORST a slight step down (and I think he’s probably a little bit better) and costs the team far less. What’s the point of having a farm system and developing good young players if you have no intention of ever using them? Gotay is a serviceable 2B until a better one comes along. Luis Castillo is not better than Ruben Gotay. Why not spend the money elsewhere? This just seems like a foolish use of resources, and now the team will be stuck playing Castillo at 2B at least a year or two longer than it needs to in order to justify this ridiculous contract.
In other news, Tom Glavine officially agreed to return to the Braves for one more season. Joe and I talk about this during the first edition of the MiracleMets.net Podcast (should be up tonight or tomorrow) but without going into too much detail here, since we talk about this at length there (granted, the deal hadn’t been agreed to yet) but I’m not unhappy with this move, as I don’t think Glavine has too much left, and the Mets will get the Braves’ first round pick in next year’s draft. Granted, the Mets need to get somebody else, but I don’t think Glavine was the answer for 2008, so I’m pretty pleased about this.