While we debate the pros and cons of whether or not Luis Castillo should be traded in the off season, let me add this for your consideration.
I decided to see where Luis Castillo’s season ranks among the best all around seasons by a Mets second baseman.
To begin, Edgardo Alfonso not only delivered the best season ever for a Mets second baseman in 2000, but I would even argue that he also put up the second best season as well in 1999 when he batted .304 with 27 homers and 108 RBIs. Wow!
Fonzie’s numbers were sensational in 2000 when he posted a .325 batting average to go with a .425 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .542. His raw numbers were a little less due to missing some time with injuries, but he still put up 25 homers and 94 RBI’s while boasting an amazing .967 OPS.
After that, you could make a strong case that there are four other seasons tied for the third best season, and I’d include Luis Castillo among them.
Whether you prefer Wally Backman (.289 BA, .356 OBP) in 1984, or Jeff Kent (.292 BA, .816 OPS) in 1994, or even the Mets first ever all star, Ron Hunt (.303 BA, .357 OBP) in 1964, you can’t say that Castillo doesn’t belong somewhere in that mix. In fact I could argue he would top them all (but I won’t).
Castillo’s .400 on-base percentage alone is something to marvel at, but when you throw in the .312 batting average, the runs scored, the stolen bases, and the fact he has only struck out only once in every ten plate appearances, you begin to realize how special he has been this season.
At $6 million dollars, he may represent some of the best value one could get at second base this season for players who are past their arbitration years.
While some continue to lobby for Orlando Hudson, when you compare them head to head, who is the better bargain Hudson at nearly $8 million or Castillo at $6 million? They both have an identical OPS+ of 102, and are similar type fielders.
Let’s say we were to trade Castillo and pay some of the remaining $12 million dollars on his contract, who’s to say that paying Hudson $16 million for two years, or God forbid more, would help the currents Mets situation?
Castillo has proven to be the same all star caliber second baseman he has always been this season. Last year was not the rule, it was the exception. He had to comeback from two knee surgeries. Now that he is healthy again, Castillo is what he’s always been and that is one of the best table-setters in the game.
Signing Castillo for four years after two knee surgeries may have been a mistake, but trading him now that he’s healthy again may be an even bigger mistake and more costly as well.