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…