ESPN’s Buster Olney had some Mets information in his ESPN Insider column today,
Heard this: Among the possible moves that the Mets have discussed internally is simply releasing Luis Castillo, the second baseman who they have tried and failed repeatedly to trade. Castillo is about to enter Year No. 4 of a four-year, $24 million deal, and he is owed $6 million for 2011. Castillo, 35, posted a .604 OPS in 2011, which ranked 291st among 305 players with at least 250 plate appearances in the majors last year. It would not be a surprise to anyone, either, if the Mets dumped Oliver Perez sometime before Opening Day.
I have no doubt that the Mets have discussed this internally, but I still believe that neither of them will be released before they each get a chance to show something at Spring Training – as it should be.
I actually believe that of the two, Perez has the better chance to stick if he can prove effective at getting left-handed hitters out this Spring. It’s something that will be watched closely and in that regard Perez has held left handed batters to a .226 batting average over the course of his career.
Castillo has a more difficult chance because if he doesn’t win the second base job against some stiff competition this spring, there’s no chance the Mets will keep him as a backup infielder simply because he can’t play any other position, but second base.
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Incidentally, I don’t really understand why this is news, but apparently as reported by Ken Davidoff of Newsday, the Mets had made an offer to reliever Randy Choate before he signed a 2-year deal with the Florida Marlins.
Why this would be leaked three weeks after the fact is odd and it’s the third or fourth time it has happened this offseason. It’s almost as if some attempt is being made to let fans know that some of the mid-level free agents the Mets had initially talked about signing, were in fact engaged and offered a deal. That’s great and all, but in the end the only thing that matters is who you signed and not who you considered signing.
You could list over a dozen and a half different players the Mets were reportedly interested in that signed elsewhere in the last eight weeks. So what?
The way I see it is that they couldn’t have been that interested in these players or wouldn’t even one such player be in a Mets uniform this spring?
Instead the moves the Mets have made (Hu, Capuano, Buccholz, Carrasco, Paulino) were all very under the radar with no rumors or news leading up to them until the day they happened.