Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson has signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Twins, prompting the Nationals to sign Adam Kennedy as their second sacker.
Thus, it appears that Mets fans will endure another year of Luis Castillo at second base.
Yes, there are delusional fans still clinging to the fantasy that the Reds will trade Brandon Phillips for Omir Santos, but I wouldn’t count on it. Castillo is most likely Jose Reyes’ partner at the keystone come Opening Day.
Is it such a terrible thing?
From the perspective that Castillo’s range has deteriorated significantly in recent years, yes, it’s too bad the Mets couldn’t find someone else to handle the position. Further, it’s a shame they couldn’t get a replacement considering that Jerry Manuel may consider batting Castillo somewhere other than second in the lineup — the only spot where he provides value.
But otherwise, I don’t see the return of Castillo as a reason for the Mets to fail in 2010. Rather, his presence on the roster represents a massive failure of the front office.
The Mets decided early on that Castillo had to be moved. Despite the need for several pitchers (starters and relievers), a power-hitting outfielder, a starting catcher, and a legitimate first baseman, the Mets chose to focus on moving Castillo as an offseason priority. As a result, enormous time and effort was spent throughout the winter trying to trade the fan’s favorite scapegoat. It didn’t matter that there were much more glaring issues on the roster. It didn’t matter that, in a season full of injuries, Castillo was one of only three players on the club to appear in 140+ games. It didn’t matter that Castillo was second on the team (to David Wright) in batting average, runs scored, hits, stolen bases, and OBP. What mattered was that the fan base didn’t like him, and the Mets are in the business of selling tickets.
So now, after three cold months of trying to trade a player the Mets didn’t necessarily need to trade, they remain “stuck” with him. In addition, they still have major question marks in the starting rotation and the bullpen, they don’t have a starting catcher, and they are committed to a first baseman who may or may not ever be better than Jason Phillips.
But they do have Jason Bay!
About the Author
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.