NEW YORK (WFAN) – This is the day many Mets fans have been clamoring for.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson reassigned eight players on Friday. In addition to the cuts, New York released oft-maligned second baseman Luis Castillo.
“It was a baseball decision,” Alderson said. “I met with Terry Collins and made a recommendation to Jeff Wilpon and Jeff approved on behalf of ownership.”
Oliver Perez managed to avoid the chopping block.
LISTEN: WFAN’s Ed Coleman announces Luis Castillo’s impending release from NY Mets
At first, Castillo wasn’t reported in the list of Mets’ cuts. In fact, he was set to be in New York’s starting lineup.
“Luis lives! Reyes 6, Pagan 8, Wright 5, Davis 3, Bay 7, Duda 9, Castillo 4, Nickeas 2, Carrasco 1,” the Star-Ledger’s Andy McCullough tweeted this morning.
“He was in the starting lineup for today’s game, which kind of threw us all off,” said WFAN’s Ed Coleman.
Boof Bonser, Dillon Gee, Ryota Igarashi, Dusty Ryan,Taylor Tankersley, Raul Chavez, Russ Adams and Jason Pridie were all sent packing to minor-league camp.
In the last year of a four-year contract, Castillo had not done anything special to help himself stand out at second base. Then again, neither have Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy or Justin Turner. A dark horse emerged this week in youngster Luis Hernandez.
“I don’t think anybody has broken away from the pack,” Alderson said on Wednesday. “One would like to see some separation, but maybe we’ll see that in the next few days.”
From the pop-up dropped ’round the world against the Yankees in 2009 to his refusal to visit wounded soldiers with the rest of his team last season, Castillo did little to help his cause with Mets fans.
“Sometimes you see people with no legs, no arms. I don’t like to see that,” Castillo said about his missed trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
“Though not as egregious as (Oliver) Perez, Castillo is emblematic of the timid team the Mets have become,” columnist Jason Keidel wrote last September. “Castillo does not have a language barrier; he has a logic barrier, aloof to the chore. You don’t wish him harm. You merely wish him gone.”
Keidel isn’t alone in his assessment of Castillo, or for that matter, Perez.
“The perception of those two players lingers, and I would be foolish if it weren’t a factor,” Alderson admitted. “It’s not going to be the only factor, necessarily, but we have to deal with reality, and sometimes those perceptions have to be taken into account.”
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From the Mets:
METS RELEASE LUIS CASTILLO
FLUSHING, N.Y., March 18, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced that they have released 35-year-old second baseman Luis Castillo.
The 5-11, 191-pound switch-hitter had one year left on his contract.
“This was baseball decision,” said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson. “I met with Terry (Collins) and made a recommendation to Jeff (Wilpon) and Jeff approved on behalf of ownership.”
Castillo was acquired by the Mets from the Minnesota Twins on July 30, 2007 for minor league catcher Drew Butera and minor league outfielder Dustin Martin.
He has a .299 career average over 13 major league seasons with 194 doubles, 59 triples, 28 home runs, 443 RBI and 370 stolen bases.