Potential Openings For Luis Castillo

Throughout the season, Luis Castillo has made it clear that he isn't thrilled with his role on the Mets bench. Just yesterday, he told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he wants to play regularly in 2011, since he'll hit free agency after next year. At this point, Castillo thinks the Mets will be able to find a taker for him this offseason, but it seems unlikely that any team would choose to offer him a starting role. 

Castillo makes $6MM this year and he has struggled at the plate. He still makes contact on an unusually high percentage of the pitches he swings at and still has a good eye for the strike zone, but he has a .235/.338/.267 line. Any team interested in Castillo would also have to keep in mind that he has played all 14,373 of his major league innings at second base. Versatility is not one of the 35-year-old's calling cards. 

Second basemen David Eckstein, Orlando Hudson and Mark Ellis (club option) are eligible for free agency this offseason, so the Mets could call the Padres, Twins and, potentially, the A's to see if they have interest in Castillo. The Tigers, Royals and Cardinals have options at second, but not well-established ones, so the Mets could try to peddle Castillo to one of those teams, too.

But it doesn't seem likely that any GM will look at his options and decide that he wants to pursue Luis Castillo as his next everyday second baseman. The Mets may trade Castillo, but there are so many established second basemen that his chances of playing every day don't seem much better than Jeff Francoeur's were when he was hoping for a similar opportunity.


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