Marc asked me to lay off on the Marlin jokes. All I can say is: I'm sorry, guys. This is bad. And I would have put a substantial sum of money on Luis Castillo remaining in Miami for the beginning of the 2006 season. I guess not.
Castillo's a solid leadoff man, one of the better ones in the game. He's never hit more than 6 homers and, recently, he's been just punching singles everywhere.
Castillo's premier attribute, though, is his ability to get on base.
Over the same time span:
Now, here's my inference, and you may correct me if I'm wrong. A lot of Castillo's batting average, in the past, came from his speed (infield hits and bunts). He doesn't run quite as well anymore, so it would not surprise me to see his batting average take a hit this year.
A line of something like .270/.350/.350 would not surprise me at all. It has its value but it's not particularly productive.
The key in this deal, though, is that the Marlins only got a couple of prospects back: Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler.
John Sickels recently reviewed his Twins Preseason Top 20. Bowyer and Tyler were #17 and #18 respectively.
Sickels seems to be pretty positive about both of these guys. The Twins are pretty well-stocked with pitching prospects, though, so these don't hurt too much.
Looking at the stats, I'm pretty impressed with Bowyer, who did exceptionally well in AAA and was not too old for the league. I am most intrigued by the fact that he only gave up 4 homers. He could fit into the Marlin bullpen in 2006.
Tyler's more of a long-term type guy and did not do particularly well in the FSL last year. He's exhibited good strikeout rates in the past.
Now, my question, though, is this:
Grant Psomas and Bowyer both look a lot like guys that stathead teams would like: Psomas for his plate discipline and Bowyer for a nice K-rate in AAA. Is this a shift for the Marlins? Or do they just like them for other reasons?
Castillo's cheap; the Twins will only owe him $5.5 million after this season, assuming they use his buyout for 2007. I can't fault either team here: the Marlins get a couple of mildly intriguing guys and the Twins deal from a position of strength (minor league pitching) to fix a huge hole. Not bad.