Marlins Keep Dealing, Shed Castillo
Asher B. Chancey, Baseball Evolution
December 2, 2005
The Marlins continued the firesale on Friday, trading Luis Castillo to the Twins for pitching prospects Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler. Bowyer appears to be a stud, standing 6'3" and averaging better than a strikeout per inning in the last two years. Tyler is a good looking Single A baller who is all of 23 and stands 6'5".
The real question here in my mind is why Castillo? What do the Twins gain in this deal? Castillo is a quintessential "empty average" player. Despite his .293 career average, and .370 on-base percentage, Castillo's productivity has dwindled in recent years. In 2003, he managed to steal on 21 bases in 40 attempts, and he has managed only 31 stolen bases in the last two years combined. And, despite getting 140 or more hits in six of the last seven seasons, he has amassed over 20 doubles only once, and has never had more than 30 extra-base hits in a season. Castillo has always been a very good defensive player, and the Twins are a team that had Bret Boone on their roster last season, but Castillo does not seem worth what would seem to be two rather good pitching prospects.
I know the Marlins are firesaling, and general managers around the league must be eager to snatch up the available talent, but if this deal is any indicator, the Marlins may be on the winning end of this firesale when all is said and done. I hope Las Vegas enjoys the team that is being put together.
The Relief Pitcher Round Robin
Tom Gordon, whose brilliant pitching the last couple of years has gone relatively unnoticed for the Yankees as he has played setup man for Mariano Rivera has signed to become a closer again, this time with the Philadelphia Phillies. Meanwhile, in his stead comes Kyle Farnsworth, who finally broke out last season and finished the season as the Braves closer after being a setup man for his whole career.
This is certainly an upgrade for the Yankees if for no other reason than the fact that Farnsworth is eight years younger than Gordon. This is a significant step down for the Phillies, who lost Billy Wagner and replace him with Gordon, a guy who has exactly one dominant year as a closer under his belt.
Meanwhile, the Angels have added the Nationals Hector Carrasco to their bullpen, a squad which is already loaded with arms. How this helps the Angels is unclear, but there can be no doubt that the Marlins are not the only firesaling team in the NL East – until the Nationals get an owner, this team will continue to bleed to only talent it has.