Ollie Cut, Castillo Signed

The Mets have released Oliver Perez and the Phillies have signed Luis Castillo to a minor league deal.

I’ll write more on both eventually but in the meantime, comment away.

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. Ryan March 21, 2011 at 11:45 am
    Fantastic move by the Alderson cadre and the Mets, denigrate a professional role player for his entire $6M/year stay and then pay the champions of YOUR division to put him on the field against you, filling the gap left by an injured Utley with a low-risk .300-hitting veteran with a ring, gold gloves, and all star apps on his rez who still makes contact. I wonder if the latest putz to fill out the lineup card in Floo-Shing will realize that Luis knows the signs, and that maybe he’ll be healthy with a world-class athletic training staff to support him, unlike those mafia goons and Wilpon yes-men that were jerking him around before.


    • Joe March 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm
      I’m not sure who you are talking about here. It surely doesn’t sound like Castillo.

      They signed two bad contracts here, one of too many in recent years where they spent too much for some dubious player for too long. Castillo was an okay pick-up, but not for that long or much. They should have tried to get rid of him last season. The net result would have been the same, but then, lame duck sorts had no incentive then.

      Perez was a nice surprise, lest we forget, but by the time they signed the MORONIC (caps merited) contract, he was already falling back to the form that led him to be tossed in by the Pirates originally. 36M. Insane.

      He should have been gone a long time ago. The die was cast. If it took some bad outing to serve as an excuse, that’s really lame. But, goodbye, and let’s focus on ’11. Next up: figure a way to get rid of Beltran.

      • Ryan March 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm
        I agree that Castillo’s signing would have been much more prudent if it was shortened to one or two guaranteed years. You can’t fault Luis for that, you fault the organization for that. The Mets were wrong to hit the “Hate Luis” button time and time again. He was vilified after a lost season, came back to hit .300, got no love in the press or from the organization.

        To boot, the window to smartly dump Luis closed suddenly the moment that Utley went out of commission. Unlike, say, a year ago, the Phillies need a second baseman right now. Apparently, he’s good enough for a look by the NL champions who are also a division rival (OK, maybe in 2013, maybe), and who have just dumped a $6 million suitcase on. Not too many big league one-year rentals at second base in this year’s market, Ruben Amaro is breathing a little easier. If he gets 400 PAs out of Luis, it’s Miller Time.

        Let me frame it this way, for the purpose of discussion. Would the Mets be smart and the Phils dumb if Wright somehow went down and the Mets somehow picked up a cast-off Polanco for league minimum, as a contingency plan? Same age, same money, arguably the same impact to the lineup.

        Of course there I have no argument on Ollie, he just plain sucks, don’t slough me in to the “save Ollie” crowd.

        • Joe March 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm
          I don’t fault Luis for the stupid contract and think in his second year he was a bright spot during a lost season.

          I also don’t recall “the Mets” from the start hating him. By the end, he wasn’t totally innocent, all the same. Signs of a bad attitude was there by the end. Also, he wasn’t a “.300 hitter’ by the end either.

          As to the Phillies, why wouldn’t they “take a look” at someone for peanuts? I don’t know, but I would be surprised that the alternative they have in-house would hurt them much. So, for the Mets to base their decision on that is about as logical as basing it merely on some sort of “fan” hatred. Hatred not shared by me or you.

          I’m also not putting you in the Perez crowd. My comments on that front was responsive to the lead author, not you.

        • Joe March 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm
          I’d add that the author of this piece among others pointed out his range at 2nd is also on the decline. So, it isn’t “bad attitude” (though there’s that) but the simple fact he is on the decline. Just one more problem in a mix of them.

          It isn’t personal for me. Seems a nice enough person and all. Just time for him to go & his value isn’t enough to other teams for that to change my mind.

        • Ryan March 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm
          Sorry, confused my “Joe”‘s, so, I downed a cup o’Joe.

          If Luis suits up for the Phils on opening day, it’s a bad move. You should never pay for the opponent’s players and that’s just that. Castillo is in a make-or-break contract year, he has something to prove, why not leave him on the roster for the one year that you have any leverage on him? It’s a better route than paying him to play for Philly.

          They couldn’t cut him after ’09, unfortunately for the Mets, he batted .300. I’ll just let that hang out there.

          I don’t think the fans are getting that the Mets are still paying for him. Attitude shmattitude, he led the team in sacrifices when healthy. That stands on its own. The Marlins didn’t have a problem for 10 years, at least I never heard a peep and I hear an awful lot.

        • Joe Janish March 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm
          Seriously there are too many Joes around here. I may have to change my name!
        • mooshinator March 22, 2011 at 6:55 am
          I don’t think the Mets are really worried about the Phillies this year. The Mets are looking at something like 85 wins max, so it doesn’t really matter to them if the Phillies win 95, 100, or 105 games.
        • CatchDog March 22, 2011 at 8:20 am
          Does anyone remember Castillo coming into ST in 2008 –fresh off of signing his 4 year 24 mil contract, overweight and in piss poor shape? Anyone remember Luis batting .245 in the 85 games he played in that season? The same season where 1 game was the difference between the post season or going home…. again.

          I do.

          Furthermore, last season, Placido Polanco had a line of .298 / .339. / .386 / .726 in 132 games while playing a solid defense at both third and second. Meanwhile, Slappy McCastle batted .235 / .337 / .267 / .604 in 86 games. How is anyone comparing the two?

          I pray Castillo plays for the Phils.

  2. mrtasan March 21, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    THANK GOD!!! wow this is great! I might actually go see a mets game this season because of this. Now what’s left is to trade beltran’s stupid ass.
  3. Stan March 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm
    I agree with both moves. I felt bad about Castillo, even though his best playing days are history. He’s still a decent player, but with no real future here. His lack of support from the fan base was his ultimate doom, but I do think he’ll fill in well for the Phillies at second base. For the Mets, it’s time for some fresh blood at second base, so think it was a good move.

    As far as Perez, that was just a mess from the minute he was signed to that huge contract. Always inconsistent, sometimes encouraging but usually disappointing, I am glad to see him finally out of here. Last year, when Ollie refused a minor league assignment, I lost all respect for the man as he wasted a roster spot.

  4. S. March 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    Phillies Fans will talk themselves into anything. I have already heard from two friends of mine that Castillo will, “fill in nicely until Utley is healthy.”

    We will see about that when he grounds into his first inning ending double play in a Phillies uniform.

    • Izzy March 22, 2011 at 9:02 am
      Why shouldn’t the Phillies feel confident? They don’t want him to be the star for 4 years. Just a fill in. And the track record, what is it ? 4 straight crowns? why shouldn’t they feel good about any moves they make. And at minimum salary, any problems they can hit the release button in a flash.
  5. NormE March 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    Alderson & co. did the correct thing. They gave Castillo and Perez the chance to win their jobs. When it was clear that they were not going to enhance the Mets the decision-makers cut them. It’s addition by subtraction (especially in Ollie’s case). The ticket buying fans are appeased, the players feel that the front office acted professionally and the
    media……….well who cares about the media.
    As for the Phillies, their pitching and power can cover for Castillo, something the Mets couldn’t do.
  6. Rob March 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    I totally agree that both players were correctly cut from the team. Their declining skills basically gave the Mets 23 roster spots last year. This year, they’ll have a couple of more options off the bench and out of the bullpen.

    That said, I think that it’s deplorable how Mets fans have treated these guys. Matter of fact, the propensity for Mets fans to boo Mets players is just astonishing. And there is a part of me that is horrified that Mets management would cowtow to the fans in releasing a player. I won’t say that it sets a dangerous precedent for the future…well…okay…I will say it. All Mets fans have to do is boo loudly enough and have enough articles published in the local sports rag and viola!…player gets released because everyone says he should be released. If I tallied up all the stories that indicated the “expectation” that Ollie and Luis were doomed…I’d not stop counting until next week.

    Anyway, don’t get me wrong…I agree that these players were signed to deals that were simply imprudent at the time they were signed. That’s bad baseball decisions by the Mets. Do we blame the players for that? Heck no. Do identify them as lousy … fill in the blank….pitchers, hitters, fielders. Sure. But their being overpaid is simply not their fault…you can blame the team and the system for that.

    So the glee with which Mets fans watch these players walk out the door is simply not fair…and it certainly is not deserved. And to carry on some of the pessimism from all the posters on this blog…it certainly won’t solve the performance issues that everyone is predicting will occur.

    Thanks for the quick post, Joe and I look forward to your analysis.

  7. gary s. March 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm
    What is deplorable about disliking a player who can’t find home plate for 2 years and another player who is surly, hits like a girl and has no range in the field anymore?Castillo ripped this franchise off for 24 million and the other clown stole 36 million.Castillo has one good year out of three and the other clown was invisible for 2 years.I
    • Izzy March 22, 2011 at 9:07 am
      I agree with you feel you that it is not deplorable to dislike a player for any reason a fan wishes. However, they didn’t rip off anyone. The Mets had both of them on their team. They had months to evaluate them, their talent, their attiutude, their training regimens. The Mets chose of their own free will to offer those deals. They weren’t under orders from anyone. And they had signals for baseball. Nobody even sniffed on a Perez FA deal, and only the Astros sniffed Castillo. The Mets only ripped themsleves off.
  8. gary s. March 21, 2011 at 6:52 pm
    I don’t know one met fan today who doesn’t have a smile on his face.Granted, this may be the best day of the 2011 season, but why would any met fan defend a Luis Castillo?He’s a mercenary.I could see if Castillo was home grown and had a long body of work with the Mets and fans felt bad about him being cut, but that is simply not the case.Something tells me all the guys crying over any so called “bad treatment by the fans” of castillo are the same guys that like the idiotic outfield dimensions at Citicavern.Btw, that said i think Alderson sounds like a moron when he says that fan dislike of castillo and perez factored into the decison.As the gm of the team, he should be deciding players futures based on performance, not fan base input.If alderson is so concerned with fan base concerns, please create a website asking what the fans think of ripoff tier seating pricing, $19 parking and $7 hotdogs and than act on those concernsI’m not holding my breath.
  9. Nick March 21, 2011 at 10:18 pm
    Hey Joe, loving these positive posts lately, this ollie one is the best of all and it’s only two sentences long!!
    • Joe Janish March 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm
      Yeah I’m trying to turn around the attitude around here … LOL!
  10. Nick March 23, 2011 at 1:28 am
    Excerpt from Joel Sherman of the NY Post.
    “I have also heard some championing of the Mets keeping Castillo because he was their best second baseman in spring. I find that wrongheaded. At this point, the Mets know what Castillo is and that is a player who in his best year will hit a bunch of singles, but no longer have the legs to maximize those singles with speed on offense and range on defense. He might have been the best second baseman in camp, but that was still going to be a below-average player with a high probability of breaking down and a low probability of being worth even one or two extra wins on the year.”

    I nevertheless don’t understand how an organization dumps a proven (healthy, but old) second basemen in favor of a strategy where you “dip your finger in the dike” and hope something comes out, when they should be competing… I’m not getting over this until they can prove they can bring in players and draft players instead of burning off the remnants of Minaya’s roster and calling it victory…