The non-waiver trading period ended Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, meaning MLB will turn now turn its attention to 26-year-old, free-agent, Cuban OF Rusney Castillo, says columnist Peter Gammons (Gammons Daily, July 30)…
Castillo became a free agent in June and quickly joined Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
The Mets were among several teams to attend Castillo’s workout in Miami last Saturday.
“He was really good,” a GM told Gammons. “He showed everything – power, speed, defensive ability. He hasn’t been a big performer in Cuba, but he looks like he could be really interesting. My guess is a 20-HR, 30-steal center fielder, who might be able to play second base. He’s a free swinger, but that can improve.”
He is 5’9″, 185 pounds, a right-handed hitter with a line-drive stroke and plus-plus speed, according to Ben Badler (Baseball America, July 20).
“Scouts also like his athleticism,” reporter Jesse Sanchez recently wrote (MLB.com, July 19). “He’ll have to start the season in the Minor Leagues, but there’s a belief that he could be in the big leagues by the end of the season. He’s expected to compete for a starting job in Spring Training.”
Castillo has a similar energy level to Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig, one team representative told Gammons, adding: “He has a lot of fun. This could be an interesting bidding war.”
According to Gammons, the Phillies already held a private workout for Castillo, who is expected to hold similar meetings with the Yankees, Astros, Red Sox and other interested teams.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The early buzz in baseball indicates Castillo’s bidding could get up to as high as $50 million, which is already chasing some teams away, such as the Twins (Sanchez, July 29). However, Castillo’s decision could ultimately come down to who gives him the most years on the deal. For instance, while Puig got a seven-year commitment, and Jose Abreu got six, Yoenis Cespedes only signed a four-year deal.
People in baseball had been saying Castillo can perform between a Brett Garnder and Endy Chavez level of production, maybe Jacoby Ellsbury, but not Abreu or Cespedes. They said he’s going to hit more doubles, steal more bases, hit fewer home runs and that prediction hasn’t changed much since his public showcase. He’s a little guy, they say, with a long, level swing.
I’m not sure how this type of player fits in with the Mets, who seem to want to acquire power more than speed. But, in this era of so few impact hitters, I think you should take advantage of whatever you chance get, regardless of how it happens, especially if he’s capable of playing shortstop, as some reports indicate he is willing to do.
The Mets (52-56) open a four-game series with the Giants (58-50) – who they trail by six games for the Wild Card – at Citi Field on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET.
Jon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) gets the start for the Mets, opposed by Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 3.94 ERA) for San Francisco.
In case you missed it…
The Mets were off on Thursday.
The Mets didn’t make any trades prior to Thursday’s non-waiver deadline. General manager Sandy Alderson addressed the team’s lack of activity after the deadline >> Read more and listen to Alderson’s remarks at MetsBlog
There was interest in Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy, but teams were not willing to meet Alderson’s asking price.
The Mets were recently seen scouting the Cubs, who have shortstops Starlin Castro and Javier Baez >> Read more at MetsBlog
Mets C Taylor Teagarden has cleared waivers. He could have chosen to become a free agent, but instead accepted an assignment to Triple-A Las Vegas (ESPN, Aug. 1).
Teagarden had been on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring since June 22.
He hit just .143 with a home run and five RBI in nine games with the Mets earlier in the season.
Thursday’s minor league recaps…
Thursday night in Las Vegas Rafael Montero showed the dominating form that made him one of the top pitching prospects in the organization. The right-hander threw a season-high 6 2/3 innings without allowing a run and just three hits, while walking two and striking out six .
It’s his best outing since May 25, when he threw six innings of one-run ball for the Mets against Arizona.
Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors…
The Mets did not make a trade before Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, though GM Sandy Alderson said there was some activity, and talks about ‘”significant players,” but “nothing came to fruition.”
“There were some proposals we made that were not accepted, and some were made to us that we felt were not reasonable,” Alderson said. “We were active in conversations, we just didn’t make any deals.”
The team can still make trades into August, but players will be subject to waivers.
The Mets reportedly fielded interest in both Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy, while checking in on other team’s players and scouting the Cubs. In regards to Mets prospects RHP Noah Syndergaard and C Kevin Plawecki, Alderson said he wasn’t ready to “move any of them at the moment.”
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There had been talk of middle-of-the-order hitters being available before today’s 4 p.m. trade deadline; but none were moved, including Dodgers OF Matt Kemp, Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki and OF Carlos Gonzalez, Rangers OF Alex Rios, Phillies OF Marlon Byrd and Twins OF Josh Willingham.
Sandy Alderson told reporters late Thursday that he did have talks with teams about “significant players.”
However, he added, “We just never agreed on anything,” especially since he did not want to subtract from his 25-man roster, nor give up one of his top pitching prospects for the names being offered.
That said, the Cubs traded Emilio Bonifacio to the Braves; the Padres sent OF Chris Denorfia to the Mariners; the Indians traded SS Asdrubal Cabrera to the Nationals; Arizona sent OF Gerardo Parra to the Brewers and infielder Martin Prado to the Yankees; and the Red Sox and Yankees swapped SS Stephen Drew for infielder Kelly Johnson.
The Tigers traded OF Austin Jackson in a deal for David Price; Oakland traded OF Yoenis Cespedes in a deal for Jon Lester; and the Cardinals traded OF Allen Craig in a deal for John Lackey.
Mets officials do not expect to trade Bartolo Colon today (NY Post, July 30). Instead, expect them to try and move him through waivers in August (NY Post, July 31).
Teams turned away from Colon because of his age, body shape, history with steroids, and Sandy Alderson’s reluctance to pay a portion of the $11 million due to him in 2015, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman told MLB Network late Thursday afternoon.
Instead, Sherman said the Mets may look to move Colon this winter when, with one year and $11 million on his deal, he’ll be more valuable compared to comparable starting pitchers getting significantly more money on the open market.
The Orioles (CBS Sports, July 31) and Royals (Daily News, July 30) recently expressed interest, and the Blue Jays, Mariners and Dodgers had been linked to him earlier this month.
3:20 pm: Mets officials said earlier today that there was just a 25% chance of them making a trade this afternoon; now it’s even less, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman (MLB Network, July 31).
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
12:11 pm: It sounds to me like the Mets will end up doing nothing before today’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline. The lack of action is less about Sandy Alderson sitting on his hands and more about teams not coming up to his asking price…
Based on what I’ve heard from other organizations, the Mets let teams know weeks ago that it will take a lot to acquire Bartolo Colon and/or Daniel Murphy, and they will only move Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, etc., in a deal for a young hitter, under contract beyond next season.
That said, I see no evidence of an impact, middle-of-the-order hitter being available in this trade market. And I don’t think Sandy Alderson is being very proactive or willing to overpay to change that. Instead, he and his staff will likely lay groundwork in hopes of finding a more fair deal for this type of hitter this winter. So, based on how they’ve handled trades and deadlines in the past, I bet Alderson and his staff are spending today fielding calls and circling back with teams they’ve talked with before (such as the Tigers, Giants, Blue Jays, Brewers, Royals, Nationals and others), while checking to see if anyone is desperate to sell or willing to overpay (specifically for Colon), and, if not,- the deadline will come and go with not much happening in Queens.
This is disappointing…
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