The Boston Red Sox are working hard to sign free agent Cuban outfielder/second baseman Rusney Castillo, with the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners also reportedly in the mix.
The Mets have never been seriously linked to Castillo, though they did scout him. He’s expected to get a multi-year contract in the $50-$60 million range, and that almost certainly keeps Castillo from fitting in the Mets’ budget.
General manager Sandy Alderson was understandably vague in his explanation of the Mets’ lack of interest in Castillo, though he told New York Post reporter Mike Puma that money was not a factor.
“I think it’s a matter of there might be some scouting differences of opinion, and kind of where we are and what we’re going to do in the immediate future, so there are lots of issues involved,” Alderson said.
In other words, we’re being asked to believe that a 27-year-old player is of interest to potential playoff teams and teams with playoff aspirations in 2015, but the Mets are staying away for some reason other than money.
Meanwhile, the Post reports that the Mets are looking at another Cuban player. Shortstop Roberto Carlos, 28, left the Cuban National Team at the end of 2012 and may have “slipped through the baseball cracks” because he didn’t get an agent after leaving Cuba, according to the paper.
I wonder: is this another case of Alderson “window shopping” to distract us, or are the Mets really hoping to sign Carlos cheaply to a low-risk deal?
If Carlos turns out to be a solid major league shortstop, that would solve one big lineup problem that’s been present since Jose Reyes‘ departure.
And if Carlos makes people think of Rey Ordonez‘s last years in New York fondly, Alderson would have new ammunition to respond when asked why the Mets were avoiding future expensive Cuban free agents.
Or maybe I’m just being paranoid.