For a guy the Mets couldn’t wait to purge, second baseman Luis Castillo sure is attracting a lot of interest.
At least three clubs are thought to be in on Castillo — the Phillies, Cubs and Marlins. The Orioles also could enter the mix, given their uncertainty over second baseman Brian Roberts, who has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game due to back trouble.
Given the demand, Castillo figures to sign quickly after clearing waivers Sunday afternoon. Of course, it helps that the Mets will pay virtually all of Castillo’s $6 million salary. Any team that signs him will be responsible only for the $414,000 major-league minimum.
The Phillies’ interest stems from their concern over second baseman Chase Utley’s lingering knee trouble. The Cubs currently plan to go with a platoon of Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt at second. The Marlins would want Castillo to play at second and Omar Infante at third if they demoted rookie third baseman Matt Dominguez, who is batting .219 this spring, but with a .762 OPS.
Castillo, 35, is a switch-hitter with a .290 lifetime batting average. He had a .387 on-base percentage in 2009, but injuries limited him to fewer than 90 games in both ’08 and ’10.
— Ken Rosenthal