Today, the New York Mets did what teams like the Chicago Cubs generally lack the balls to do: they released a guy, despite his multimillion dollar contract, because he simply wasn’t worth a roster spot. The guy in question was second baseman Luis Castillo, who is owed $6 million in the final year of his contract. Castillo, whom you may recall was the subject of frequent Cubs rumors as recently as last season, is now free to sign with any team.
Sigh. You know where this is going, don’t you?
According to Enrique Rojas, a source says that the Cubs, among other teams, are looking at signing Castillo. Although he would cost very little – the ML minimum of $414,000 – the question is whether he’s worth a roster spot at all.
Yes, Blake DeWitt has been very disappointing both offensively and defensively this Spring. Yes, Jeff Baker is probably not a full-time starter on a good team. And yes, Darwin Barney is probably not going to have the bat of a ML starter. But is Castillo any better?
Castillo, who turns 36 this year, is coming off the worst season of his career, where he put up a hilarious .235/.337/.267 line in a part-time role. His OPS+ was just 68, and, in fact, has been below 100 (average) every year since 2005. Age and bum legs have sapped him of his formerly excellent defensive ability, too. So, why exactly would the Cubs consider giving him a roster spot over Barney, Baker or DeWitt?