In a strange move, the Reds have re-signed Juan Castro, age 34, to a two-year contract extension. Lancaster reports that Castro will average $1.5M over the deal.

I actually like Castro well enough, despite his anemic offense. I just don’t understand the need to pay almost-league-average salary to a guy who isn’t good enough to start, and can’t even pinch hit. Seems like a strange way to lock up a roster spot and $1.5M per year. Plus, the Reds went down this road once before.

The numbers:

2006: .245 AVG, .274 OBP, .342 SLG (616 OPS)

Career: .232, .271, .339 (610).

12 Responses

  1. RickNmd

    What’s strange about it? Castro is the best defensive utility infielder in the game. One of these days perhaps you will realize there are elements of baseball not locked up in your obsession over stats.

    A stat you don’t understand: $1.5 million is chump change in today’s game.

  2. Chad

    I used to despise Juan Castro, but I have to admit that he has grown on me. He seems like a likeable guy, and he’s had moments where he has helped this franchise. (Seriously, I couldn’t stand the sight of Castro a couple of years ago; I was looking through one of my old scorecards, and saw a game where he was leading off. Purely as a sub, I grew to “not mind” him.)

    But the problem with this contract extension is that he’s Rey Olmedo, with less athleticism and less of a bat.

    This isn’t a move that dooms the Reds to mediocrity; it’s more of a minor annoyance. But it is annoying, because we already have someone (Olmedo) who can do the job.

  3. RickNmd

    Anyone who thinks Olmedo is equal defensively to Castro is not watching the same game or players as the rest of us.

    Anyone who thinks Olmedo is a player for the 25-man roster hasn’t been watching the same player as the rest of us. He’s a tweener.

    The reason Hatteberg didn’t make more was because he wasn’t signed until about 4 minutes before spring training. No one wanted him.

    Aurilia could have gone other places without guarantee of playing time. He choose where he thought he’d play the most, plus he, like Hatteberg, have performance incentives that will get them above $1.5 mil.

    And what frontline starting RF are you gonna get for $1.5 mil? That’s silly.

    Castro is very valuable insurance in case of injury or ineffectiveness and plays three positions, which is worth about $500,000 each.

    I would not have given him the second year, but yeah, he’s worth $1.5 mil and it’s chump change in MLB today. Look at what veteran players typically cost.

  4. RickNmd

    My statement isn’t hard to back up at all: Olmedo has about 90 seconds in the big leagues and has played poorly in almost each one of them. He can’t play third, he really doesn’t have the arm for shortstop and he’s got eight years in the minors and four opps with the big league club. Either he was gonna stick by now or not.

    In fact, wasn’t he removed from the 40-man roster at one point?

    Castro has 11 years, and because of his hitting he hasn’t logged that kind of service time because he so happened to get lucky on a couple of backhands. He’s got a .978 career fielding percentage over 5 positions and has just 58 errors in his career.

    Why should you believe me? Watch a big league game once in a while. Trust your eyes.

  5. RickNmd

    The wise-ass stuff is because you rely almost solely on stats to make absolute arguments and when someone counters you with critical player elements like intangibles, experience, timing and , you flop around like a striped bass in a frying pan.

    Who gives a blip about what Olmedo or anyone else has done in the minors? Enjoy your minors games; some of us watch Major League Baseball and know the talent difference. There are no parallels. You use this minors argument/stats crap all the time. The miniors ain’t the majors and there’s an enormous line between the two. There are dozens of players each year who have impressive minors stats who don’t pan out in the big leagues–sometimes they bounce back, many times they don’t.

    I read what you stated about this Castro-Olmedo on Marc Lancaster’s blog. When you are arguing the numbers of a career minor-leaguer who has falled miserably in stints over four years with the big league club against someone with 11 years of big league service and a known defensive quantity, then you render your arguments as those of a fantasy geek. If you watched Major League Baseball every day you would realize what a spectacular defensive infielder Juan Castro is.

    But I won’t argue with you over the salary issue.

  6. al

    wow, who knew people would get so uppity about 1.5% of the projected salary for next year.

    does every team need a utility infielder who can play good D? i’d say yes.

    what’s everyone always saying about young guys? that they should be playing not riding the pine.

    is castro famous for being a fantastic clubhouse presence? yes

    has he paid his dues in the league to make more than league min? yes

    to me, if you put all those things together, it seems like a reasonable (and minor) signing. i guess i could bitch, but why?

    who would be better at what they want him to do? no one who couldn’t be starting for someone. is that money going to stop them from doing anything else this offseason? obviously not, if they’re willing ot eat dave williams salary outright, they’re clearly not basing they’re offseason moves on an extra half mil given to castro in two years.

  7. RickNmd

    Totally agree Al. Absolutely correct. As I stated earlier, what they’re paying Castro is nothing by today’s big league standard.

  8. RickNmd

    And when the Reds signed Milton, just what other options did they have? No one wanted to pitch in that park or play for a crappy team. They were rejected by all their other favored choices. Look around: $8 mil is about the going rate for a starting pitcher.

    Baseball in the 21st Century. It costs big money for players. That’s why the average salary is approaching $2 million per.

  9. RickNmd

    Reading between the lines of today’s articles in the papers, could it be that Krivsky has told Castro he will be the starting SS in 2007 with Phillips back at 2b?

    As for the contract extensions to Cormier and Valentin, Cormier would not waive his no trade clause without an extra year tacked onto his deal. He essentially replaces Mercker’s salary.

    Valentin has earned that price. He produces, and it’s still way below the league average. Besides, productive lefthanded hitting catchers ain’t that easy to find.

    Again, $4.5 million for three veteran players really isn’t that much money–and still below the average, which is above $2.5 million.

  10. RickNmd

    Ross is a backup journeyman catcher and Phillips was DFAed because a) the Indians had no position for him and b) no would trade for him. The Reds made a claim once he was DFAed and got him because of reverse order of standings in 2005. That’s how little anyone else thought of Phillips.

    But that doesn’t happen every day. The Reds got very lucky with Phillips.

    So Greg, YOU can get a veteran lefthanded reliever who gets outs, a backup catcher who hits lefthanded and produces, and the best defensive utility middle infielder in the game ALL for $1.5 mil combined?

    Really? Who are they?

    Look at the contracts of last year’s middle relievers and your starting point is $3 mil for most of the established ones.

  11. RickNmd

    Chris what is your point? You have an amazing talent for repurposing other people’s words into saying exactly what they have already said.

    Here’s what I said: The Reds under three different GMs made their decision about Olmedo. There’s no comparison to him and a former high draft pick like Phillips.

    Comparing the evaulations of one organization against an inferior talent to another organization’s superior talent is just mindless. But good for you–you keep trying that train of thought.

    Ross IS a journeyman catcher. And who’s a better all-around left-handed hitting reserve catcher than Valentin and who might be a free agent this year to replace him more cheaply?

    If the Reds had any viable talent in their farm system to be reliable cheap replacements, perhaps they would use hat option. They don’t. You should know this because the only baseball you seem to know is the minors.

    Of all the minor league players Krivsky traded, how many were deemed future major league talent? I could be wrong but I think only the kid they sent to Minnesota for Lohse. Otherwise, everyone else was a crap shoot except maybe Germano. But he’s been traded 600 times in the past two years.

    You’re probably right about me being wrong on the DFA process, but Phillips was DFAed and if there is more than one claim it goes to the team with the worse record, whether it’s the year before or this year.

  12. RickNmd

    Chris that email address has extremely limited incoming access because of spam. Sorry.

    As for baiting, you’re the big tarpon that keeps tossing out these cockeyed evaluations and skewed stats analysis meanwhile your blog cult is supposed to fall in line and go “oh, lead us to the promised land of Waco?”

    I’ll pass and allow everyone to swallow their Chris at Redleg Nation Kool Aid. After all, stoo-ped is as stoo-ped does.