Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

The Hidden Value of Luis Castillo

Posted by JD on June 29, 2009

Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts spent a good deal of time today ripping Omar Minaya for giving Luis Castillo a four year contract back in 2008, and for good reason. I’m a Castillo fan and even I cringe at the thought that he’ll be around for two more years. But Joe and Evan didn’t mention a key factor. Even though Castillo had scored 37 runs in 50 games with an OBP of .371, it was his potential off-field contributions that necessitated his return.

It gets forgotten now, but Luis Castillo was an key factor in the Johan Santana acquisition. Santana publicly complained when Minnesota traded Castillo to the Mets, calling it a salary dump. But it apparently went further than that behind the scenes, as this article from Brian Lewis of the NY Post describes:

“I remember the day I got traded, remember Johan. He went to me in the locker room. We talked for 20 minutes. I explained everything. He told me everything, told me he wanted to play with the Mets the day I got traded…”

Now, is that worth a four year contract for $25 million? Of course not. But we should keep it in mind when we discuss the contract. Had the Mets waited for Orlando Hudson, they might have missed out on Johan Santana. For all its faults, the Castillo contract was a show of faith to Johan, a sign that this organization was going to go out of it’s way to make him comfortable. So, at least we’ve got that going for us…

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2 Responses to “The Hidden Value of Luis Castillo”

  1. Ceetar said

    I sincerely doubt Orlando Hudson over Castillo on this team makes a huge difference. if any.

    • jd1877 said

      I’m fine with Luis. I only threw Hudson in there because Luis’ contract was catching some flack this week (see my previous post for my thoughts on that). But it’s a different story if you make it Orlando Hudson vs. Alex Rios. Let’s say they decide to go that way and sign Hudson for $7 mil and two years. That leaves you two years of Castillo/Hudson at roughly $13 mil for two years vs $62 million of Rios for five years. I don’t like tying that much money up in two old second basemen, but those two bats are more productive than Rios and they still might be able to dump Castillo later. Trade for Rios now and that flexibility is gone. Payroll flexibility is the key for me.

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