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METS, MARLINS TALKING ABOUT CASTILLO

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According to the Palm Beach Post, the Mets and Marlins have had discussions over the past two weeks about secondbaseman Luis Castillo. The Marlins may be in all-out "fire sale" mode, a la 1998, and the feeling is that everyone but Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera is available.

The Mets flirted with signing Castillo two offseasons ago, though he wound up returning to the Marlins. He has one year and a vesting option remaining on his original three-year deal that will pay him $5 million in 2006 and $5.75 (or a $500k buyout) in 2007.

Castillo is still a solid defensive secondbaseman, though he lacks the range he once had. He has never hit for much power (career high in SLG is .397), but he has a career .370 OBP which included a .391 OBP in 2005. His speed is not what it once was, as he has suffered some nagging leg injuries in recent years and only stole 10 bases in 17 attempts last year.

His salary is fairly reasonable and he is an on-base machine, so he would make a pretty solid acquisition so long as the price wasn't exorbitant.