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. MLB.com'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.
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.
slightly off topic, would the mets make jose reyes available at trade deadline if they fall far out of contention?
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.”
“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.
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.
NO MORE CASTILLO.
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!