Could Mets Swing Castillo For Casey Blake?

An article by posted on November 13, 2009

Remember Jim Bowden? The former Nationals and Reds GM had this to say on his Twitter account:

Dodgers talking with Braves re: Vazquez and Mets re: Castillo according to sources.

Last year it would have been easy to assume that the Dodgers were probably discussing a swap for Juan Pierre (bad contract for bad contract), but that was back when Castillo was at rock bottom in terms of value.

Could the Mets be looking at something closer to Casey Blake?

Both players are signed for two more years for similar dollars and would fill a big hole for each team.

Blake has played mostly third base for the Dodgers, but has logged plenty of time at first base during his career. He also would give the Mets that righthanded power bat to platoon with Daniel Murphy at first base. 

The Dodgers are currently in some financial upheaval due mostly to a messy divorce by the McCourts. They have already resigned themselves to letting productive players like Orlando Hudson and Randy Wolf go without so much as an offer. Both players figured heavily in their division titles last season.

The Dodgers also have several major arbitration cases ahead of them with significant raises in store for catcher Russell Martin, first baseman James Loney, outfielders Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp, and starting pitcher Chad Billingsley.

The Dodgers could easily save a few million dollars by shedding Blake and signing the recently released Pedro Feliz among other solid and cheaper options. Castillo would supplant Orlando Hudson who earned $2 million more than Castillo did. The move could save the Dodgers in upward of $5 million dollars or more.

Blake batted .280 with 18 homeruns and 79 RBIs for the Dodgers last season. His .363 OBP and .832 OPS would be a big plus for the Mets.

More importantly, Blake batted .320 against lefthanded pitching with a .442 OBP and a 1.005 OPS.

Seems to me like Blake would be right up the Mets alley. He would be a solid power bat off the bench and be able to give David Wright a few days off to keep him fresh and on top of his game.

Blake batted .360 down the stretch in September and October, something that should be very appealing to Mets fans.

He is owed $6 MM in 2010 and $5.25 MM in 2011, and there is a team option for $6 MM in 2012.

He can also play leftfield.

He’d be a lot cheaper than going after some of the other free agent first basemen out there, and his presence would allow the Mets not to rush Ike Davis to the majors.

What are your thoughts?

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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