10 Things To Do Before Trading Luis Castillo
A recent column from Boston.com claims that the Mets remain the team most interested in Orlando Hudson, but only if “they are able move Luis Castillo”. Granted, that tidbit may not be worth a hill of beans (heh heh), since it comes from Boston — and what do they know about the goings-on in Flushing? But we have heard that Omar Minaya spent a good chunk of time during the winter meetings trying to trade Castillo, and in fact moving the second baseman appears to be a priority. However, there are at least 10 more important things to do before the Mets need to worry about their 2009 MVP.
1. Find a catcher.
As Casey Stengel explained, “You have to have a catcher because if you don’t you’re likely to have a lot of passed balls”. If Bengie Molina really wants more than a year guaranteed then it’s back to the drawing board. Is Hobie Landrith available?
2. Get a left fielder — preferably with some power.
The ship for Jason Bay has not just sailed — it has sunk. The longer he waits the more we realize he’s not a good idea. But the Mets still need a bat to put in left.
3. Locate a setup man.
There are still a few bargains left on the free agent market. Do not assume that the Jorge Julio of Japan or an older version of Duaner Sanchez is going to cut the mustard.
4. Sign a LOOGY.
Scott Eyre, Joe Beimel, Neal Cotts, and several others are all out there, waiting for an offer.
5. Sign Ben Sheets
He’s throwing for scouts next week. If his arm doesn’t fall off, sign him. He’s less of a gamble than Oliver Perez, with way more upside.
6. Get an innings-eating starter.
There are a few available via free agency and through a salary dump deal. Stop fooling yourself into believing that Perez and John Maine will one day be 200-inning starters.
7. Pick up a righthanded-hitting first baseman with some pop.
It’s fine if you want to give Daniel Murphy a shot to be the starter. But it won’t hurt to have a RH-hitting slugger off the bench — or to take over in case Murph follows in the footsteps of Jason Phillips.
8. Hire a mental coach.
Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, Angel Pagan, and John Maine are just a few of the players who might benefit from some mental gymnastics training. This guy seems pretty good.
9. Bring in an outfield coach.
Hire Ron Swoboda to work with Angel Pagan during spring training. Who knows maybe he can teach him some baserunning as well.
10. Hire an assistant to Dan Warthen.
You had your chance to fire the bus driver but since he’s still around the least you can do is provide him some help to address the staff that walked more batters than every MLB team other than the Nationals. Brad Radke, Bob Tewksbury, and Fritz Peterson are three of the greatest living control pitchers of all time, and none have a job in baseball right now.
Once the above ten actions are accomplished, THEN moving Luis Castillo may have an impact on the Mets’ 2010 fortunes.