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Mets Should Jump at Castillo for Lowell

By Mike Silva ~ January 5th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets, Offseason Speculation.

NYBD has been saying all winter that Omar Minaya goal is to trade Luis Castillo. Earlier in the offseason names such as Kevin Millwood, Pat Burrell, and Gary Matthews Jr. were connected to Castillo. Those all came with some sort of risk- health, bad attitude, lousy contract, and porous defense. If the Mets and Red Sox are indeed interested in a Luis Castillo for Mike Lowell swap, then Omar Minaya should work to make that happen.

The obvious question is why would Boston do such a deal? They have Marco Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia up the middle. The signing of Adrian Beltre leaves Lowell without a position. Although I am curious about the Sox willingness to take on Castillo, they could believe he fits the bench role better than Lowell. Remember, Julio Lugo was an expensive backup for the Sox until they released him last summer. If you look at the Boston roster, outside of Jed Lowrie, who is an experienced backup middle infielder? Castillo obviously would fit the bill. Another theory is that Theo Epstein believes he can flip Castillo for a prospect (maybe the Cubs?) before spring training. If this were the case, it would be a huge indictment on Minaya who couldn’t pull off a deal with Chicago during the winter meetings. In the end, who knows the motivation behind this deal for Boston and, quite frankly, the Mets shouldn’t care.

I said on Sunday’s show the Mets received 16 homers and 91 RBI from first base last season. Carlos Delgado provided a quarter of that and didn’t play after May 10th. I love Daniel Murphy, but do you honestly think he can put those numbers up by himself? At the very least he needs a righty complement. Lowell could play first, spot David Wright at third, and even has some experience at second base. He could be a better version of Fernando Tatis. His experience and leadership wouldn’t hurt either. The biggest asset of acquiring Lowell would be the possibility that Minaya could finally sign Orlando Hudson. That would improve the defense immensely which, for this dubious starting rotation, would be huge.

Can Lowell still play? Despite the off year, he put 17 HR’s, 54 RBI, and an OPS over .800. He did hit significantly better at Fenway Park, but historically that wasn’t always the case during his Boston tenure. Lowell also had a down fielding year, but that could be due to the torn hip since he always has been a solid defender. I would think a slick fielder like Lowell could adjust to first base and, if he could, it would be a great complement to Murphy since he hit over .300 against left handed pitching. Does the money work for the Mets? Basically you are taking on Castillo’s contract in full this year since he is owed $12 million for the next two years, and Lowell is on the final year of his deal, which will pay him $12 million. If it doesn’t affect their pursuit of a starting pitcher, then I am all for it.

Keep in mind that Lowell does need surgery for torn ligaments in his thumb. It’s going to be eight weeks before he hits the field, but I don’t think that should hold up the deal. As long as Boston doesn’t want a prospect with Castillo, the Mets should jump at this opportunity. Lowell/Murphy with Orlando Hudson at second base is a better balance of offense/defense than Murphy/Delgado/right handed bat and Luis Castillo.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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4 Responses to Mets Should Jump at Castillo for Lowell

  1. R U Kidding

    If deal goes down Lowell is starting 1B by June and hits 20 hrs and drives in 80. Mets win division!

  2. jaime

    i hope this gets done. lowell is a leader and a solid citizen. a platoon of he and murphy along with the acquisition of hudson and molina improves the defense AND the offense. do it omar!!!

  3. pimpin' aint easy

    please, no delgado. question, if the mets have a budget for this year, lowell would ADD to that budget due to the fact he makes 12 THIS year vs. castillo’s 12 split between the next two seasons. that would stop us from getting hudson OR a pitcher, wouldn’t it?

  4. Valentine's Day

    The Sox just picked up Bill Hall, so they do have a utility guy at this point… maybe the Mets eat some salary in this deal to give some incentive?

    Castillo is almost useless, Lowell and O-Dog would be huge and would solidify the team

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