Castillo, Matsui Possible Options For Colorado?

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Rockies are looking to upgrade from utilityman Melvin Mora as their best backup option at second base.  To that end, the Mets have contacted Colorado about a possible deal for Luis Castillo.  The veteran infielder has a .256/.341/.299 line heading into Thursday's action and has improved his defense (a 2.5 UZR/150) this season after his horrendous -12.7 UZR/150 in 2009.

As Rosenthal mentions, the Rockies wouldn't have to worry about the $12MM owed to Castillo for 2010 and 2011 given that the Mets would be picking up the large majority of that tab to clear the way for Daniel Murphy to get some reps at second base.

If the Rockies aren't interested in working out a deal with New York, another possible answer to their depth problem could be a former Rockie.'s Thomas Harding proposes that if Kazuo Matsui clears waivers on Monday and is officially released by Houston, Colorado might be a logical landing spot for the second baseman.  Matsui has just a .352 OPS in 78 plate appearances with the Astros this season, but Harding sees Matsui as a minor-league signing that would provide cover for regular second baseman Clint Barmes (who himself is struggling this season with just a .612 OPS heading into today's action).  

Matsui's greatest success in the majors came with the Rockies, where he hit .300/.353/.426 in 579 plate appearances from 2006-07.  Harding mentions that Matsui was popular in the clubhouse and apparently left no hard feelings with management when he left Colorado to sign a three-year, $16.5MM contract with Houston after the Rockies' pennant-winning 2007 campaign. 

Given that the Astros would still be paying the $5MM that Matsui is owed for 2010, this would be a low to no-risk signing for the Rockies to make.  The club would've liked to have been prospect Eric Young make a play for the second base job, but with Young looking at a lengthy stay on the DL with a leg injury, a veteran option like Matsui or Castillo could make sense.

20 Responses to Castillo, Matsui Possible Options For Colorado? Leave a Reply

  1. Why would Colorado sign Matsui? Seriously, we have three option at 2B if we need them in Barmes, Mora and possibly Stewart. Yeah, it’d be nice to have EY making a case for the position, but he’s hurt and I fail to see how Matsui could possibly be an upgrade at all.

    • At best, its a bench bat to relieve Clint Barmes.

      At worst, its a minor league depth signing.

      Seriously, there’s no risk in making this move.

  2. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    slightly off topic, would the mets make jose reyes available at trade deadline if they fall far out of contention?

  3. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    The Rockies could trade for Aki Iwamura if they’re looking for some infield insurance. He’s been absolutely dreadful this year in the starting role. He’s an expert at grounding to second base though. Instead of writing 4-3 in my scorebook, I just write “Aki.”

  4. “The veteran infielder has a .256/.341/.299 line heading into Thursday’s action and has improved his defense (a 2.5 UZR/150) this season after his horrendous -12.7 UZR/150 in 2009.”

    This is why I can’t really trust defensive stats like UZR. There’s no way that Castillo has become a radically better defensive player in 2010 than he was in 2009. Either more balls are being hit right at him, or some other glitch in the formula is making him look like he’s having an above-average defensive season. He’s still the same sucky Luis Castillo he’s been ever since arriving in Queens.

    The Mets are going to have to hold on to Reyes and hope he turns it around. I’d be open to trading him but his trade value is just too low right now.

    The best case scenario for me as a Mets fan is that they fall completely out of the race (they’re well on the way to that) and decide to fire Omar Minaya, then bring in a 21st century GM who understands statistics to oversee the rebuilding process. Anybody who looks at Jeff Francouer and says, “That guy can be our starting right fielder” is an automatic FAIL as a GM.

  5. withpower 5 years ago

    Not only was I surprised that Luis Castillo’s contract didn’t expire LAST SEASON, I’m again dumbfounded that it extends past this year.

    It feels like the general internet baseball community has been roasting that deal for a decade now.

  6. Guest 5 years ago


  7. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Frenchy has a great and very consistent arm which is really a sight to see. However his defense has not, and will not ever follow suit, IMO. As much as I hate to admit it, I would welcome Jayson Werth as a permanent replacement…ANY time. Enough already!

  8. withpower 5 years ago

    Jeff Francouer has 3096 plate appearances in the major leagues. After those 3096 plate appearances in the major leagues, Jeff Francouer owns a .268/.310/.430/.740 batting line.We’ve seen the real Francouer this year.

  9. This is Frenchy’s sixth season in the big leagues– he has put up an OPS+ over 100 exactly once, and that was barely over 100. He has never learned a thing in his thousands of plate appearances, still goes up there hacking at everything with no approach at the plate and seemingly no knowledge of opposing pitchers. Even in a “good” year he gives you appallingly paltry production for a corner outfielder. He is, quite simply, a below average hitter and always will be. I can’t wait until he is no longer a New York Met.

  10. icedrake523 5 years ago

    Werth and Pagan were both in and out of lineups due to health. Francoeur has been very duarble. Sometimes, a guy just sucks. And that’s the case with Francoeur.

  11. withpower 5 years ago

    Why do you Mets fans do this to yourselves? Why?

    You know Jeff Francouer sucks. You know your team sucks. You know you have a few quality pieces but that it is NEVER going to really come together for an extended period of time.

    Yet you Mets fans.. always, always, always — you’re one pitcher away, one hitter away, just need to make that trade, this guy is JUST ABOUT to turn the corner.

    Stop it, already. None of the good teams in the league take you seriously anymore. You’re just the loudmouths on the schedule.

  12. The Mets want to find a place for Murphy, who played 2B in winter ball a year ago, have Ruben Tejada blocking him at 2B in AAA, etc.

  13. adropofvenom 5 years ago

    Castillo is hitting for a .640 OPS right now, it’s not like we’d be setting the bar all that high looking for a replacement. Hell, Cora can put up that line going forward. It’s not all that impressive.

    And I’m inclined to say it probably says more about what they think about Ruben Tejada then what they think about Murphy. After a slow start, Ruben Tejada has gotten his line up to a respectable .293/.341/.370 for a 20 year old in AAA (Including hitting .333/.368/.381 this month)….and his best selling point is supposed to be his glove, so even if he struggles with the bat, his glove should be enough of an upgrade that it’d be worth it.

    I’m fine with trying Murphy at 2B, but you would have to think he’d need seasoning in the minors first. He’s not an immediate option at the position.

  14. adropofvenom 5 years ago

    Tejada’s played 3 games at 2B this season. He’s been playing at SS. Although he was supposed to be taking grounders at second to try and become more comfortable around the position.

  15. Great, he can crush a fastball when he knows it’s 90% likely to be a strike. You know when he sucks? Every other situation, and against every other pitch. I don’t care how you slice the numbers– a right fielder that can barely put up an OBP of .300 and who routinely, every single year, slugs below .450 is an awful player. Frenchy will get a full season of ABs because the Mets are so pathetic, and he will reward them with a giant pile of outs. The extra-inning game thing is kind of a lame excuse. If playing in a 20-inning game destroys your timing for a month, it doesn’t say very good things about your makeup or preparation. I guess we better never use Frenchy for both games in a double header. The excuses people make for this guy are just never-ending.

    As you predict, he will eventually go on a hot streak, and some people will be fooled and think the hot streak is for real. But inevitably it will be answered with an even longer cold streak, and Frenchy will end up with his typical .320 OBP, .420 SLG at the end of the season.

  16. The name of the game is to score runs. The best way to do that is to avoid making outs. Francouer generates a tremendous number of outs. Despite hitting in the middle or lower part of the lineup for much of his career, he has finished in the top ten in the NL in Outs Made in three of his four full seasons. He does not make up for the mountain of outs with either speed or extra-base hits.

    Francouer’s newfound “plate discipline” lasted all of 12 games. He had an astonishing 8 walks in his first twelve games. He has had three walks since. In thirty games.

    If you want to look at a 12 game sample that looks nothing at all like the rest of Jeff Francouer’s career and declare that he’s turned the corner, you can do that. I’m going to look at the other 736 games he’s played as better evidence that he has just about the worst plate discipline of any starter in the major leagues. I’d be ecstatic if Francouer made me look like a fool and became a productive corner outfielder, and by “productive,” I don’t mean a .330 OBP and .450 SLG. Those numbers aren’t acceptable for a corner outfielder, and if Francouer doesn’t do better than that I will consider him a failure.

  17. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    I’m thinking long-term here, Metsville, so going for Lee or Crawford in their walk year (and possibly giving up trading chips we may sorely need for permanent players down the road) seems imprudent to me – and frankly, like wishful thinking even if we did get them. Don’t get me wrong, I’d go for it if the Mets showed REAL promise right now, or even the slightest penchant for allowing new talent to draw them out of their funk for any lasting period. However, since 2007 the trend has been just the opposite. They add capable people who flourish for a handful of games, but then inevitably also become bogged down the team funk, and everyone returns to the underachieving norm. That’s what I observe, so I think it is time for a new tack.As for my comment about Werth, I feel you on that one (and I won’t forget how ill I felt seeing Pedro in a Phillies uni’) but it stems from strong supposition in the sports world that the Yanks will suck up Crawford like a vacuum cleaner when the opportunity presents itself – and I have to suspect they are right because they customarily throw money at anything they like until they get it (meanwhile, nobody’s a bigger Crawford fan than me. I’ve gone to Yanks-Rays games just to watch Carl “go to work!”).Meanwhile, my friend, over the time we have chatted I notice you are often super-optimistic about certain of our players who are clearly tailing off (our debates about John Maine come to mind as one), which is a great sign of loyalty on your part. Nobody would fault you for that. However, I notice many of my concerns about such players have proven valid, and as a friendly fan I am going to have to beg you to reconsider on this one: some “objects you see in the mirror” are the same size in reality. I’d say this is the case with Frenchy. He is just Francouer, just as you see him. He’s been in the league since 2005 and offensively his sub-par years outnumber his successful ones. There have been all kinds of strategizing, blaming, and supposition, but in the end he has had all the time in the world to prove what he is convincingly – and I’d say he has. So while other options are scarce at this time, let’s hope somebody in the front office wakes up and determines to find us the stud we really need at that position as soon as the situation allows. In fact, with regard to the team overall, I’d say the experiment is long since over. It doesn’t work, so no matter who is and who is not GM now and in the future (not my concern for this post), let’s just have the courage to admit it, gut the team, rebuild, and get it right — FINALLY. These days, 2006 feels like a terrible, cruel tease.

  18. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    Jeez, I wish those guys would have remembered to heat up BEFORE the 26th out tonight.

    Cut…take #2 (AKA “Go Big Pelf!”)

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