Trade Winds NL East

So the Mets fattened up their number two hole in the batting order and their defense in the middle by trading for Luis Castillo "for a future back-up catcher and no-hit centerfielder as form of concession."

Of course the Twins never gave that much up for Castillo to begin with: chump change in the form of Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler, both of whom could probably one-hit the Mets...

Anyway, the trade is great for Mets fans but bad for Twins fans and Ruben Gotay fans.

Of course no one worth their salt gives a toss about Twins fans but hey, I was getting rather fond of Gotay. I mean what did this poor bastid have to do beyond hitting .350, slugging .504, and hitting .433 with RISP to keep his job? He was unfairly labeled as a mediocre fielder. Ok, he only hit .235 against lefties but I was happy watching him, another young steal courtesy of Omar.

Sure, Castillo is a natural #2 hitter but the Mets already had the second-highest production out of the #2 slot in the National League. And I was rather liking Lastings Milledge sitting there. And sure, none of them can give the Mets what they have with Castillo; three switch-hitters at the top of their lineup (provided Beltran ever stops letting every nagging little injury distract him from being the MVP he was hired to be...)but damn, I sure hope he's exciting. I hate to see players I've grown to like over the course of the season tossed aside for the latest fad in switch hitting, Gold Glove, All Star second basemen...

And let's correct something. Castillo won't be "filling a hole" in second base. He will be "augmenting" what is already a sound, albeit inexperienced Gotay. Filling a hole implies Gotay was a hole. Gotay was more an object exiting a seam in the universe.

But the tears for Gotay have dried, remarkably, in the time it took to write that. Facts is da facts, m'am. Castillo is a 3-time All Star and Gold Glove winner. And yes, a remarkable upgrade in the field which only helps strengthen the Mets. And you can't even really whinge about what they gave up in return for him.

So, yes for the Mets, good move, bold move, brilliant move. Sorry for Gotay and sorry even more because I think the bullpen is an area the Mets need to address even more than this mysterious hole at second base but far be it from me to criticise the wisdom of Omar.

Yes, if ever a hole was needing to be filled it would be the bullpen. Schoenweiss, Sele, Mota and the other embers of the dying fire of mediocrity back there aren't going to propel the Mets into the World Series. Nor will Castillo unless even more moves are made.

Which I'm sure Omar is sorting out even as we speak.

Braves and Phillies Make Moves As Well

I know it feels as though the NL East is all but won by the Mets already but you can't really convince the Braves or the Phillies just yet.

The Braves made a bit of a blockbuster by trading, or nearly having completed a trade for Mark Teixeira, arguably the most sought-after player available at the trade deadline.

It strengthens their order this season, softens the potential blow of Andruw Jones leaving via free agency next season but this isn't going to push them past the Mets this season. Lefty reliever Ron Mahay was included in the deal and is someone the Mets could have used but hey, the Braves have him. We don't need a rent-a-body like Teixeira. Who wants to spend all that time trying to figure out or remember how to spell his bloody name? Delgado is much easier.

And I know, I know, teammates are supposed to be enthusiastic but jesus christ, Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur, the perennial pain in the arse, was a little over the top when he said: "I think especially in the National League, we now have the best lineup. One through eight, we have hitters that can jack it out of the park and rack up RBIs."

The best lineup in the National League? Pshaw. Ding, ding. Calling Mr Beanball for Francoeur's next appearance with a Met on the mound...Was that his Jimmy Rollins impression?

And the Phillies, speaking of the Phillies, ha!

Kyle Lohse?

Go ahead, the NL East is trembling for a man with a 6-12 record and a 4.58 ERA.

I won't say with definity that the Phillies' hopes were crushed by the loss of Chase Utley but I wonder if they wouldn't have rather had Castillo over a muppet like Tadahito Iguchi.

Last night they couldn't seem to stop hurting themselves despite the victory over the Cubs. First Shane Victorino strained his calf trying to beat out a double play in the fourth and will have an MRI on Tuesday. His replacement, Michael Bourn, stumbled over the bullpen mound in the fifth and sprained his ankle. He'll get an X-ray on Tuesday.

You go girls.

PS- Wouldn't it suck if Glavine gets number 300 tonight only to be upstaged by Mr Bean The Steroid Head That Ate Baseball hitting the homer that finally surpasses Hammerin' Hank?


sancehz said...

Gotay wasn't going to get us into the world series either and castillo gives us a little street cred. You're right though, such a move is meaningless if it isn't followed up by a move or two to bolster the bullpen.

Jaap said...

All moves are meaningless. We all end up dying in the end. Do we die in a Braves uni or a Mets uni, that's the only real question...

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