Phillies Release Luis Castillo After Brief Trial

After three disappointing seasons, Mets second baseman Luis Castillo has been released with one year and $6 million left on his contract.

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Luis Castillo Released By Phillies Following Spring Training Trial

Not two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Phillies signed Luis Castillo after he was dropped by the Mets. Castillo was coming in on a minor league contract, but he was thought to be the favorite to fill in at second base for however long Chase Utley is out with his injury.

But now? Forget it. According to Jim Salisbury, the Phillies have released Castillo after he played in seven Spring Training games. Castillo went 6-22 for the Phillies in Spring Training and 14-50 overall, but it wasn't enough as the team has opted to go in a different direction.

What direction might that be? The odds-on favorite to start at second base is utility infielder Wilson Valdez, who wound up getting significant playing time a year ago. The Phillies also just signed Kevin Frandsen to a minor league contract, and he's an infielder with versatility and a little promise in his bat, and they have Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez hanging around. The Castillo decision? Surprising. But the significance of the Castillo decision? Pretty minimal. The Phillies really just need Utley back, and there's no substitute for his level of talent.


Luis Castillo Headed From Mets To Phillies, According To Report

On Friday, Luis Castillo was released by the Mets. No matter; on Sunday, Castillo became free to negotiate with other teams, and according to a report, he's going to sign with the Phillies.

Because Castillo's contract is still the Mets' responsibility, the Phillies will only be on the hook for the league minimum of just over $400,000. And why would Philadelphia make this move? Because Chase Utley is limited by a knee injury, and with the star second baseman making very slow progress, the team needs a stopgap. Wilson Valdez would be one possibility, but he's best in a utility role, and the front office doesn't have the budget flexibility to add anyone of real impact (like, say, Michael Young).

So, assuming the report is true, we'll see how this goes. The Phillies will be free to release Castillo at any time at minimal cost, so this isn't much of a gamble. And Castillo can still draw a walk and put the bat on the ball as well as anyone. While he can't run like he used to, Castillo's OBP over the last three seasons is .366, so he might be able to help the Phillies for however long he's around.

From one team in the NL East to a better one, apparently. For more on Castillo and the Phillies, check out The Good Phight.


Mets Release Second Baseman Luis Castillo

According to multiple reports -- and if it's been Tweeted, it must be true -- the Mets have finally bitten the bullet and released Luis Castillo.

This news isn't surprising, but it's interesting for a couple of reasons.

One, the Mets still owe Castillo $6 million.

And two, Castillo, for all his limitations, might still have been the best second baseman on the 40-man roster.

In Castillo's absence, the position will be filled by one or more personages from the following group: Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus, Justin Turner, and Luis Hernandez, with the unheralded Hernandez supposedly in the lead because he's got the best glove.

In the strictest sense, this isn't really a "baseball move," but is rather designed to suggest that business isn't as usual. With a rebuilt front office and a new manager, statements must be made after consecutive losing seasons.

The Mets might win more games than they lose this season, but given their pitching rotation that doesn't seem likely. Win or lose, they're not going to the playoffs and Luis Castillo certainly wasn't going to be around when they do return to the postseason some day.

Out with the old, in with the new, and maybe seeing Castillo cleaning out his locker will send a message to someone who will be around when this team is ready to win again. And fairly or not, Castillo's legacy after three-plus seasons with the Mets will always be that game-losing error.

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