Mar 19, 2011, 8:55 AM EDT
Luis Castillo became symbolic of the failures of former Mets general manager Omar Minaya, so most expected him to be cut loose prior to Opening Day, even though he was arguably the team’s best option at second base. But when someone is cut based more on perception than reality, we shouldn’t be surprised when said player draws interest once they can be had for the league minimum.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Phillies, Cubs and Marlins are at least three teams “thought to be in” on Castillo. The rationale is pretty simple here. The Phillies need insurance for Chase Utley, the Cubs aren’t thrilled with Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker and the Marlins could use Omar Infante at third base and start prospect Matt Dominguez in the minors.
As Castillo tells Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, he hopes to sign with the major league team shortly after he clears waivers on Sunday.
“I feel calm, confident that I will be in a major league roster on opening day of the season,” Castillo said in phone call in Spanish with ESPNDeportes.com.
“Until Sunday I can not talk of contract, but I’m sure I have options. I am not finished as it has been painted,” Castillo said, adding he did not hold a grudge against the Mets.
If anything, being released could be a liberating experience for the 35-year-old. The three-time Gold Glover doesn’t have the range he once did, but he knows his way around the second base bag better than most. And while he’s just a Punch-and-Judy-hitter, he makes good contact and knows how to draw a walk. For $6 million, he wouldn’t make any sense. For $414,000? Sure, why not?
I, for one, look forward to reading Jon Heyman’s reaction when Castillo signs a contract before David Eckstein.