Off the Bench

One down, (hopefully) more to go

Posted in MLB by offthebench on December 2, 2005

The Twins have apparently decided to make some noise this offseason (finally) announcing they have traded pitchers Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler to Florida for Luis Castillo. While I would have preferred moving Michael Cuddyer back to second base and shopped some pitching prospects for Rangers’ Hank Blalock, I’m hoping this trade is a sign of things to come. Castillo is a considerable upgrade at a position that has been an offensive (and I do mean offensive) black hole since their run of division titles in 2001.

Castillo has a career line of .293/.370/.356 in 10 seasons. The most encouraging part of that line is the .370 OBP. The Twins are notorious for their free swinging ways and another hitter who can get on base ahead of Mauer, Morneau and Hunter would be a welcomed sight to all Twins fans. In addition Castillo has shown the ability to hit left-handed pitching. The 2005 all-star has a .343/.403/ .519 line with 11 of his 12 home runs coming against southpaws the last three seasons (in 426 ABs).

Castillo had some nagging leg problems this season that limited him to 122 games and only 17 stolen base attempts – his fewest attempts since 1998. I would imagine if his legs are healthly, he will run more in Minnesota’s small ball offense.

As for the contract, According to the report Castillo is scheduled to make $5 million in 2006. The contract he signed with the Marlins also includes a $5.75 million club option for 2007.

Bowyer and Tyler weren’t going to be counted on help the big club in 2006 and with the amount of pitching depth they have in the minors, its nice to see they actually used some of it to get a player who could help the club while they still had Radke, Santana, Stewart and Hunter under contract.

For a team that hit .259/.323/.391 last season, this shouldn’t be the only move they make.


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