Luis Castillo Has Finally Left the Building - NBC New York

Luis Castillo Has Finally Left the Building

The much-maligned Mets second baseman has been released



    Luis Castillo Has Finally Left the Building
    Getty Images

    On Thursday, Mets G.M. Sandy Alderson made headlines when he publicly mused about why Mets fans spent so much time thinking about Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez.

    The question wasn't hard to answer. They spent a lot of time thinking about them because they wondered why in the world they were still wearing Mets uniforms well past the point when they offered the team anything positive on the field.

    Neither man was set to play a significant role this season, so what in the world were they doing in Port St. Lucie?

    Friday morning brought reason to spend a little less time thinking and a little more time rejoicing. Alderson announced that the team released Castillo and decided to eat the $6 million he's due for the 2011 season.

    "After a long evaluation during spring training, after consulting with Terry [Collins] and the coaching staff, I made a recommendation to ownership in the best interest of the organization and Louie that he be released," Alderson said. "Ownership approved."

    If Castillo had just posted the below average offensive statistics he's turned in since arriving from the Twins in a July 2007 trade, he'd have become an unpopular player with Mets fans.

    He had the bad fortune of showing up just in time for the epic collapse that season, however, and then signed a big contract extension that he never came close to fulfilling. Even that could have been swallowed if not for his dropped pop-up on what should have been the final out of a game against the Yankees in 2009.

    All of that made Castillo became a poster boy for all the dysfunction within the organization during the Omar Minaya era. Even though he isn't a worse choice than the rest of the second base candidates in Mets camp, his continuing presence on the roster made it all but impossible for the Mets to turn the page from those painful years and look to the future.

    There are plenty of other things still standing in the way of that, but losing Castillo was an easy first step to show that the mistakes of the past won't accepted by the organization of the present.

    That's a positive step for everyone except Perez. He should probably be making sure he's got his suitcases somewhere he can find them.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.