Do We Want Castillo?
OK, so now the deal looks more reasonable: minor league catcher Drew Butera and outfielder Dustin Martin for Luis Castillo.
I have no qualms about the talent exchange here. Drew Butera will be lucky to reach the glorious heights of his dad Sal — who was nothing more than a mediocre third-string catcher. Martin’s future was not with the Mets, and whose ceiling may be roster filler in AAA.
However, now that it looks like the Mets will indeed get Luis Castillo, do we really want him?
Here’s the problem: Castillo is more or less guaranteed to step right in and start at second base, immediately. He is all the things that Willie Randolph craves: an experienced (aging) veteran, ideal second place (not power) hitter, who makes a lot of contact (doesn’t walk much), with a Gold Glove resume (but that was a long time ago and several knee surgeries ago), and (was) a basestealing threat.
In other words, back to the bench for Ruben Gotay, who was just starting to show how much of an impact he could make on the team.
I do like Luis Castillo as an all-around ballplayer, and I like him in the #2 spot — assuming that LoDuca will never hit there again regardless. What I don’t like is Gotay going back to the bench, which appears inevitable. It reminds me of my rage when the Mets sent Melvin Mora packing in return for Mike “I’m going back to Baltimore after the season” Bordick.
Castillo, by the way, is, like Gotay, a switch-hitter. He’s hitting .315 from the left side this year and .270 from the right (in 89 at-bats).
Braves Getting Dotel?
As if the Mark Teixeira deal weren’t enough, the Braves are also on their way to obtaining Octavio Dotel, and arm that would fit very nicely in the Mets’ bullpen. How the Braves are able to pull off both deals is a wonder, especially since the Royals seemed to be asking a king’s ransom for Dotel. There is one good thing — the Braves appear to be emptying their coffers for short-term rentals, which can only help the Mets over the next few years. My concern, however, is for this year.
Phillies Get Kyle Lohse
So the Phillies picked up eternal enigma Kyle Lohse. That could be cause for celebration by Mets fans. If he can continue to hold the New York offense to only five runs every four and a third innings, though, we can forget about ten-run-ruling the Phils before the seventh frame.