can Minaya sell teams on Castillo's future value?
The Baltimore Orioles acquired Kevin Millwood, as well as $9 million of his contract, from the Texas Rangers yesterday for Chris Ray, a relief pitcher with previous success as a closer and three years of arbitration control left. Why, do you ask, would Baltimore do this? On paper, Millwood gives them an innings eater who can save the O’s from using up too many young arms in the rough AL East, while providing Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, and the rest of the young pitchers in Baltimore a mentor who can share with them key information on hitters, game preparation, and other important aspects of the game. But looking closer into the deal, and Omar Minaya should take some notes on how the Rangers got rid of Millwood, and why the Orioles were willing to take a chance on him.Millwood is a proven middle of the rotation arm who has constantly been asked to go up against more frontline type starters throughout his career. He does have injury history, but when healthy, is as reliable as they come, posting an ERA of 3.67 in a hitter friendly ballpark in the American League. He won’t wow you with stuff, or dominate with pinpoint location, but he pitches to outs, both through the air and on the ground, and is a great asset to a playoff contender as a number 3 or 4 starter. So why the Orioles? Well, Baltimore thinks they are a year or two away. Millwood could spend the first half of the season giving the O’s quality starts and mentoring the pitchers of the Baltimore Youth Movement, and then can be shopped to a potential playoff contender come July. Using Millwood for 4 months, then acquiring 2 prospects/role players from a team looking to make noise come October is valuable for the Orioles, since this helps them not only develop their staff mentally but get pieces to compliment their future stars by maximizing Millwood’s value. Taking notes, Omar?
If Kevin Millwood can go to the O’s for Chris Ray and $9 million in relief to Texas, (great move by the way by Jon Daniels to use the cash to get Rich Harden), what says the Mets cannot sell Castillo and, say, $5 million of his remaining $12 million over two years to a team who can fill a void at second base, then spin Castillo either this July or over the winter to a team who values infield defense and feels Castillo can help them make the postseason? Ideally, the Mets would use the Royals interest in Angel Pagan and send them Pagan, Castillo, a young arm and a young bat for Gil Meche and Alberto Callaspo. But what if Minaya can look at San Diego and say either you’re getting rid of Corriea anyway or you can’t afford Chris Young, and give them Castillo, pay half his contract, and throw in a young arm? Or go to Detroit, and rid them of the one year and $12.5 of Jeremy Bonderman for Castillo? Or even Kansas City, where if you take Farnsworth you might be able to get Meche for Castillo, Pagan, and an arm without giving up a young bat? Sell Castillo as a position filler and a mentor to younger players in the infield who can be spun for some prospect depth or role players in July or before 2011. The only difference from the Rangers and Millwood is since Castillo is a two year guy in regards to his contract, you take on more money in return than Texas did. So, if you were Omar Minaya, what team would you go to to sell Castillo as a valuable rental piece who can be spun to continue to help a team build for the future, a la Kevin Millwood? Do you think it would be impossible to make this sell on Castillo? Fire away with your thoughts.