Ramon Castro Traded to White Sox

lance-broadwayAs had been rumored, catcher Ramon Castro has been traded to the Chicago White Sox in return for RHP Lance Broadway.

The deal cements Omir Santos’ place on the 25-man roster as the current backup to the returning Brian Schneider. Manager Jerry Manuel, however, said that although Schneider would get the bulk of the playing time “at first”, he would more or less have to perform to remain the regular backstop.

At first glance, the trade appears to be a good one for all sides. The White Sox get a slugging righthanded-hitting catcher to platoon with A.J. Pierzynski, the Mets make room for Santos while also ridding themselves of a player in need of constant motivation, Castro gets a chance to play for a manager who will push him, the Mets get a young middle reliever to add to their AAA depth, and Broadway goes to an organization that may have more use for him than the one he’s leaving.

The White Sox have good depth in their bullpen, leaving little room and patience for the 25-year-old Broadway, who has struggled in his short stints in MLB over the past three seasons.

However, Broadway was the 15th overall pick in the 2005 draft, and as recently as last January was Chicago’s #2 prospect according to Baseball America. He is a tall Texan who can throw four pitches for strikes, but his velocity rarely gets above 90 MPH. If he can ever find consistent command of those four pitches, he would project as a Greg Maddux type of pitcher. The White Sox gave up on him as a starter, and though he remained one as a minor leaguer, he’s since been projected as an MLB middle reliever. I’m not sure how that will pan out, as it’s tough to pitch in that role as a junkballer. In any case, he’s being sent to Buffalo, and we’ll find out soon what plans the Mets have for him. My guess is they’ll plug him into the rotation at first to get a good look at him / give him innings to show what he can do.

The Mets did send cash back to Chicago, though the amount was undisclosed at press time.

As David Lennon tweeted, Broadway has a good name for New York City.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. CatchDog May 30, 2009 at 8:18 am
    Continue to send the message that has been the hot topic of the week; Play un-focused, lazy and poor fundamental baseball and you may find yourself DFR. Personally, I hated the fact that Castro never blocked the plate on close plays.

    On a positive note: Ramon is reunited with Ozzie, as Castro played with the Marlins when Oz was the bench coach.

    On a not-so-positive note: how long until Schneido goes down again and the Mets feature Robinson Cancel as their next catcher on the roster?

  2. isuzudude May 30, 2009 at 9:15 am
    That’s a good question, CatchDog, and one that made me believe the Mets should have demoted Santos, no matter how good he had been during Schneider’s absence, just to keep the depth around in AAA in case Castro or Schneider got re-injured, which is bound to happen at some point between now and September.

    However, I can’t fault Omar for pulling the trigger on the trade, either. There was no way the team could have gotten by with 3 catchers on the roster. And if the team wants to stress hard-work and earning a spot on the roster, then demoting Santos would have gone against all that, especially when the alternatives were the constantly lollygagging Castro, or constantly slumping Schneider. And perhaps parting with Castro will be an addition by subtraction, much in the same way Guillermo Mota was traded after 2007. Still, I can’t help but wonder how much pie will be on Omar’s face if Santos suddenly falls back to earth, or if Schneider can’t stay healthy, or if Castro tears it up with Chicago – all very strong possibilities.

  3. mic May 30, 2009 at 10:20 am
    – but there is not just Robinson Cancel….there is Rene rivera. 🙂

    Actually i think Josh Thole could get a look at some point.

    – Some credit should be given to getting a Lance broadway, he does have an upside that under the circumstances should not have been acquirable for Castro. At very least there is yet another body who gets the heath bell treatment but possibly can start at AAA Buffalo….who are awfull and just lost dillon.

  4. joe May 30, 2009 at 11:40 am
    – Mic, I believe I did credit the Mets for getting Broadway. Who knows he might turn out to be a back-end starter one day, and one that would be relatively cheap. i.e., a Jason Marquis type of guy.

    – Removing Castro from the roster is another step in the right direction as far as changing the culture in the clubhouse.

    – I hope Santos can keep it up, but I fear that his latest heroics have put him on the radar of opposing scouts. They’ll find a hole in his swing eventually and pound it, but I bet that won’t happen for at least another month or so.

  5. The Adjunct Professor May 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm
    I think it made sense to trade Castro. I expect Santos to establish himself as the number one catcher. My concern is, in trading someone like Castro, who should have some value, we ended up with a pitcher who has an ERA over 5. I know the game has changed over the years but that number (his ERA) does cncern me.

    Hopefully it all works out for the best!

  6. mic May 30, 2009 at 2:18 pm
    – If worst happens in the next month or so, there is the trade route. Benji and I-rod are very attainable.

    – Schneider was my bullseye. Castro was only EVER an insurance policy considering the Mets had ZERO catchers at the time of his re-signing. In fact i think his resigning was either right before or after voiding the Torrealba offer. And he was the best ‘known’ quantity. Its notable that Omar went alittle crazy and signed Castro, brought in Schneider, and still signed Cancel, gustavo molina and Casanova…and resigned Nickeas. Thats how much insecurity he had. Also on Castro it was clear too that he was NOT regarded as a good defensive catcher by the Mets.

    – while castro earned 2M/yr, Schneider gets near 6M. Santos…1/2Mil. Thats another factor. I think this purge could indicate Omar has designs on spending in another area. Also Schneider will not be back next yr, in fact i think he gets deal more sooner than later.

  7. joe May 30, 2009 at 4:02 pm
    Mic – the Mets have consistently given too many years and too many dollars to most of the people on their payroll. That’s what happens when your assistant GM is a former consultant in the MLBPA. Bernazard’s job may have changed but his goal seems still to be to put more money in players’ pockets.

    The Mets don’t save much money by trading Castro. From what I understand, they are paying a good chunk of his salary as part of the deal.

  8. mic May 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm
    Joe: correct…but i think you need a sidebar with SP contracts scrolling…Piazza, Al Leiter, John Franco, Benitez, Todd Zeile,

    – Is Santana’s contract too long, CB’s contract (2yrs left), Schneiders’del’s are expiring in fact Del is only playing out a well desrved club option…Maine never was offered an extension, and Ollie? well (sorry I-Dude), but many felt that given his age, lefty arm, years in the bigs, 2 consecutive 14 win seasons- he should have gotten a Millwood/Lowe contract. So Omar is not saddled by bloated contracts. And frankly given Omar’s budgetting techniques i think Reyes …a FA in 2010…at the same time as Maurer, could walk…maybe to the Yanks!