There wasn’t much doubt that this was going to happen at some point this spring, it was just a matter of when it was going to happen. Today, the news came out that the Mets finally released the chronically under-performing Luis Castillo. It came out from the beat reporters that Castillo asked for his release today, unhappy with the assemblage of talent trying out at second base to replace him. Even the $6.25 million left on his contract for 2011 wasn’t enough to save him.
Castillo’s contract was inexplicable from the start. The Mets picked him up from the Twins at the trading deadline in 2007 and went on to one of the greatest late-season collapses in baseball history. At 31 years old, he appeared to be on the downside of a former speedster’s career. His legs didn’t look fresh and he couldn’t cover the same ground in the field that he did in the late 90’s with the Marlins when we saw him steal bases against Mike Piazza at will with his running mate Juan Pierre.
Of course, Omar Minaya rewarded him with a long-term contract. 4 -years/$25 million. It was hard to believe that was really true. But it was.
Fast forward through an injury-riddled 2008, a solid 2009 after getting in shape during the offseason, another injury-riddled and miserable 2010, here we are today. I won’t even mention the dropped pop up against the Yankees in 2009. It was only one game for a team that never contended but it was a killer loss that really sticks with you as a fan.
Sandy Alderson admitted that fan distaste for Castillo was a factor in his decision to recommend releasing him. It’s not that Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy, or Luis Hernandez playing second base is going to sell tickets at Citi Field. But Castillo likely does have a negative impact on ticket sales as does Oliver Perez. Just their name on the active roster is enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Now that his Mets career is in the books, take a look at his stats below.
|NYM (4 yrs)||365||1469||1230||188||337||31||8||5||105||55||13||182||135||.274||.366||.324||.691|