I sure wish I could use HTML tags in the headline, because “competition” would have bold, italics, and possibly lightning bolts all around it. Something like this:
Wait, There’s Competition For Juan Castro?
Phils, Dodgers both want Castro — 12:10 p.m.
One month after playing one another in the National League Championship Series, the Phillies and Dodgers are pursuing the same utility player: Juan Castro.
Castro’s agent, Oscar Suarez, told FOXSports.com Tuesday that both teams are interested in the 37-year-old infielder.
Re… really? Teams are tripping over themselves to hire a guy who’ll be 38 next year and has a career OPS of .601? A guy who had an OPS in the second half last year – and this is no typo – of .317? That’s the guy teams are competing for?
“But MSTI,” you say. “Everyone knows he can’t hit. His value is as a slick-fielding defensive backup.” Sure, that might have been true 5 or 10 years ago. How has that glove held up as he’s aged? According to FanGraphs, he hasn’t even been an average fielder since 2006. In 2009 alone in UZR/150, he was actually pretty brutal, though of course in small sample sizes: -24.2 runs at SS and -3.9 at 2B. So this is clearly a guy that should be inspiring a bidding war.
No, it’s facts like that – and by “facts”, I clearly mean “a player who cannot hit or field and is old should not be on a major league roster” that inspired us to point out that Castro should be shown the door in favor of Chin-Lung Hu, a superior fielder who at least has a chance of offensive upside.
I’d launch into a diatribe about how old and busted veterans who offer no value should never ever be at the epicenter of a free agency competition… but wait! There’s hope! Todd Zolecki at MLB.com, hit me!
The Phillies appear to have found their replacement for Eric Bruntlett.
The Phillies are close to a deal with Juan Castro, who hit .277 with one home run and nine RBIs in 112 at-bats last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Castro’s agent, Oscar Suarez, said today that “we’re closing in on something.”
It is believed to be a one-year deal.
“Who doesn’t like the Phillies as an organization?” Suarez said. “You want to win. And who doesn’t like Juan Castro? You want to have a superb utility man to back up the guys you have up the middle. We’re trying to put this thing together. I think we’re going to get it done.”
You’re right, Oscar. Who doesn’t like Juan Castro? Well, teams trying to put together winning rosters, of course, but that’s too obvious. At least Castro’s going to the perfect sitution – one in which the starting middle infielders are consistent, durable everyday stars who rarely need a rest.