One down and one to go for the New York Mets.

The Mets did the inevitable on Friday and cut second baseman Luis Castillo. New York will eat the remaining $6 million on Castillo’s contract.

Now if the Mets can just get rid of Oliver Perez, they will be really cooking.

Castillo signed a four-year, $25 million contract with the Mets in 2007 and why then GM Omar Minaya gave him that many years was beyond anyone. It was never how much Castillo was making per season that drove Met fans crazy—it was the length of his contract.

Four years for Castillo was waaaaaaaaaaay too much. Especially since no other team at the time was willing to give more than a one-year deal. Nonsense.

During his time with the Mets, Castillo raised the ire of Mets fans with his lackluster play and propensity to get injured. In his three full seasons with New York, Castillo appeared in only 315 out of a possible 486 games and hit only .270 with four HRs and 45 steals.

Now that the Mets have moved on from the Castillo era in New York, let’s look at where both parties go from here.

For the Mets, it appears that Luis Hernandez, and his career .286 OBP, is the leading candidate to replace Castillo. Hernandez is 26 and has played parts of fours seasons with the Mets, Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles.

He is your classic good-glove/no-hit middle infielder. Hernandez is hitting .294 with a .368 OBP this spring however.

Brad Emaus is also a candidate for the second base job as well. Emaus hit .298 with 10 HRs and a .398 OBP with Triple-A Las Vegas (Toronto Blue Jays minor league affiliate). He was selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 draft from the Blue Jays.

He is hitting just .231 with zero HRs in 45 ABs this spring.

Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner are also two guys vying for the job as well, but are seen as outsiders. It would shock me if anyone but Hernandez was the Mets’ Opening Day starting second baseman.

As for Castillo, believe it or not, he does have some options.

I think the Philadelphia Phillies are a real possibility. I am a believer that Chase Utley won’t be playing anytime soon and the Phillies lack infield depth. Castillo would be a good fit for them.

Even though they said they had little interest, I think the Florida Marlins could still be a possibility as well. Matt Dominguez is hitting .219 this spring and if they don’t feel he is ready to be their starting third baseman in 2011, the Marlins could move Omar Infante over to third and slot in Castillo into second.

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Baltimore Orioles could be potential destinations for Castillo as well.

And one more thought on this. Wouldn’t it be in classic Mets fashion that wherever Castillo goes, he is going to blossom? It’s guaranteed to happen.


You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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