Less than an hour ago, the Mets officially released Luis Castillo, a decent player who became a lightning rod for fan ire and a scapegoat for everything the Mets have done wrong in the past four years. GM Sandy Alderson commented on the release just moments ago:
"This was a baseball decision. I met with Terry (Collins) and made a recommendation to Jeff (Wilpon) and Jeff approved on behalf of ownership."
"In spite of the fact no one has obviously separated himself in the competition, I think we have a good-enough sense of where this is going that we want to accelerate the process. So it was important to scale the competition back a little bit."
"I don’t think there’s any question that there’s some linkage between his situation and a perception of the Mets that has existed to this point. That’s something that was taken into account. At some point, you have to make an organizational decision that goes beyond just an ability to play or not play. So those things are relevant. And you try not to make them so controlling that it dictates the final decision under any circumstances. Realistically, it’s a factor."
Castillo's .366 on-base percentage is the 10th-best in Mets history for players with at least 1,000 plate appearances. From the perspective of production, he was worth a roster spot on this team. For non-baseball reasons, it probably is for the best that the Mets are moving on. Castillo is one of the few remaining mistakes of the Omar Minaya administration, and I fully expect that the other big one, Oliver Perez, will be remediated in short order.