According to, the Cubs are interested in recently released former Mets second baseman Luis Castillo. But while the potential acquisition of Castillo may not solve all of the Cubs’ woes, it may be worth a flier. 

On the surface, it’s easy to see why the Cubs would show interest in Castillo. He will come cheaply, with the Mets paying the majority of his remaining contract. Any team that signs him would be required to pay just the league minimum.

Meanwhile, both of the current Cubs’ options at second base do not thrill anyone.

Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt may make nice utility players, but even that may be a bit of a stretch.

What’s not to like about Castillo?  

Well, he is said to be a negative guy in the clubhouse, one who requires a lot of attention and brings teammates down with his attitude. But that is hearsay and probably open to debate.

Plus, he’s 35 and coming off a season where he played in just 86 games and hit .235. He slugged a shockingly silly .267.

He can draw a walk, however, something the Cubs desperately need. He also can steal the occasional base, and won’t clog the bases when he does get on. In short, he might be better than what the Cubs currently have atop the batting order.

Defensively, Castillo is an upgrade as well, as his UZR/150 last season was solid in limited action. The Cubs defense has been awful this spring and could use the help.

But it’s a crapshoot. Players don’t usually get better at age 35, and it remains to be seen whether Castillo can even play a full season anyway.  And if he doesn’t hit, his OBP won’t be good enough to solve the team’s leadoff position quandary.

But the Cubs are supposed to be building for the future. What kind of future do they have with a guy like Castillo?  

Therein lies the rub.

For the Cubs aren’t really rebuilding.

No, that wouldn’t sell tickets. So Jim Hendry went out and acquired Kerry Wood, Matt Garza (who, while still young, does potentially take the place of a Cashner) and Carlos Pena.

Recognizing that, why not continue down this path and add yet another veteran?

Castillo’s numbers were likely impacted by a dismal .259 BABIP, so even at his age, one might expect a small rebound as his luck returns to normal.

FanGraphs has Castillo’s projected line for 2011 as .257/.345/.321. Not great, but probably better than what they would get from Bake and Blake.

Castillo’s ability to get on base should make him a plus-1 player according to the site, so it’s worth a shot to bring him in.

The Mets’ trash may just be the Cubs’ treasure.

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