OK so I admit it. I fell in the trap of the anti-Castillo bias this off-season. I looked at his UZR as the worst in baseball history, OK worst for a 2B last year, and went with the pack. It is not like me at all and has troubled me as I am not a big Gritty McHudson fan. My approach was a simple one. If Hudson could be had for cheap then get him. However, with multiple teams still in the running and him holding out for a contract with incentives up to 9M that is just not going to happen. A commenter on another blog got me thinking yesterday and actually fact checking instead of going with the tide. Here is what I came up with.
More than anything it appears that both players according to UZR are on the decline. However, not turning this into an UZR debate their other numbers look very similar to each other. Castillo gets hurt on range but seems to be able to make the normal play as good or better than Hudson. What I also have to wonder is what effect having 6 different 1B and only 1 experienced one (that was broken down) had on Castillo. Did having those guys over there change Castillo's approach, his positioning? We know that Murphy's range was off the charts, was he getting to a lot of balls that should have been Castillo's? We know that Delgado's range was not very good, was he playing closer to 1B? No defensive stat is going to measure these things completely. However, Castillo's stats were not that far removed from a positive UZR year 2007. Using Rate and Rate 2 from Baseball Prospectus Castillo was at 94 and 94 last season and his career averages are 97 and 96. 100 is deemed to be average. I know little about what goes into those ratings but they are closer to what my eyes tell me that Castillo was much better in 2009 than he was in 2008. In 2008 his Rate scores were 85 and 84.Next up, look at their values.Castillo was worth 7.2M according to Fangraphs last year, Hudson was worth 13M. According to Chone Projections 2010 Castillo will be worth 6.1M while Hudson will be worth 10M.Is Hudson better than Castillo? Yes. Is the net gain worth the money needed to buy out Castillo and sign Hudson, not at all.