Sunday, January 9, 2011

Are Perez and Castillo on Their Way Out of Town?

It's coming right at your head.  DUCK!

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Mets may look to release Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo if they don't "earn their way onto the team."
1. Heard this: Among the possible moves that the Mets have discussed internally is simply releasing Luis Castillo, the second baseman they repeatedly have tried and failed to trade. Castillo is about to enter Year 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.
Did you hear that?  I think I just heard the six remaining Mets fans jumping for joy.  Seriously though, releasing these two players is absolutely the right move for the Mets.  They're sunk costs.  There's no way to recoup any value out of either player.

Castillo's offensive skill set is so poor that calling him a replacement level hitter is mean to replacement level hitters everywhere.  He can still get on base via the walk (13.0% walk rate in 2010), but his power (.267 SLG and .032 ISO) and ability to hit line drives (14.4%) is non-existent.  His defense at second base is acceptable, but his base running skills are nothing like they were three or four years ago.  No one, not even Dayton Moore or Brian Sabean, would trade for Castillo at this point.  It's better to just eat his $6M salary.

Releasing Oliver Perez is an even easier move.  During the first two years of his 3 year $36M contract, he's been worth -1.9 WAR.  That's really tough to do.  How did he do it?  By walking nearly a batter an inning.  His control is atrocious.  Even if MLB decided to make home plate as wide as Bruce Vilanch, I'm not sure he'd throw a strike more than once every four pitches.   The only way you keep him on the roster is if he pitches well enough in Spring Training to crack the Mets already weak rotation.  That has almost no chance of happening, so they might as well release him and eat his $12M salary.  It will really suck to do, but it's the smartest move.

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