As you all know by now, the Mets acquired second baseman Luis Castillo from the Twins, for Minor League catcher Drew Butera and Minor League outfielder Dustin Martin. I think it’s a great deal for the Mets and here are four reasons why.
1. The Number Two Spot – The acquisition of Luis Castillo finally solves the never ending game of musical chairs that begun in Spring Training with David Wright and has since featured a dozen different players during the course of the season. Castillo has the ability to prolong the count and rarely swings at anything outside of the strike zone. He has no power to speak of, but is fast enough to leg out many an infield hit, and is quite adept at hitting them where they ain’t. The stability will do both Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran some good.
2. Defense – The addition of Castillo at second base will give Jose Reyes a more consistent double play partner with steady hands. He has above average range with a strong accurate throwing arm. He is a no-holds barred defender who will dive for anything he feels he can get to and he’ll make some dazzling plays in the field. He is a tremendous upgrade to the defense.
3. Speed – His presence at the top of the lineup with Jose Reyes will give anxiety attacks to opposing pitchers. Castillo may not be able to steal 40 bases a season like he used to, but you can certainly put him down for 25 stolen bases this year. His speed also puts him among the league leaders in infield hits, year after year.
4. No Brainer – In essence the Mets gave up relatively nothing for his services. The prospects we gave up had little or no chance of ever making the team. Sure Castillo is a free agent at the end of the year, but because he is an A Type player, the Mets get a first round draft pick if he signs with another team. Bottom line… the first round draft pick is probably more valuable than what we gave up. It’s a win-win situation all around!
Another reason, though not as tangible as the ones I’ve mentioned, is that the Mets really needed to do something. A trade such as this creates a little bit excitement and brings some positive vibes to the clubhouse. All in all, a great trade for the Mets, and hopefully a prelude to another trade for a desperately needed arm in the bullpen.