According to sources, the Royals and Mets have been in trade discussions aimed at a swap for disgruntled veterans Jose Guillen and Luis Castillo.
Castillo, a switch-hitting second baseman and 3-time All-Star, has not been the fuzziest of characters since he arrived in New York as a free agent in '08. Much ado with Guillen in Kansas City. The only real problem here is that Castillo - who is no where near the slugger Guillen is - is coming off a year in which he hit .245/3 HR/ 28 RBI in just 87 games. Some positives on Castillo is that, while he is 33 years old, he swiped 17 bases and walked 50 times compared to just 35 strikeouts. His OBP was .355 (something Dayton Moore would like) and he carried an OPS of 77.
If the deal was indeed a straight up swap the Royals would save $6MM in 2009, but would end up seeing a $6MM cap hit in 2011. Guillen has two years and $24MM remaining while Castillo has three years with $16MM owed.
Castillo, you may remember, spent time in the AL Central in '06-'07 as a member of the Minnesota Twins. Before that he spent 12 years in the Florida Marlins organization where he had the best year of his career in 2003 at age 27 when he hit .314 with 6 homers and made the All-Star team.
For the record, his six homers in '03 was the most dingers he's hit in a single season in his career.
Apparently, the two teams had strong discussions about making this deal before the trade deadline in June, but couldn't pull the trigger at the time and decided to re-open discussions this winter. Don't expect the Royals to make a sudden move with Guillen, however. They likely will pan the rest of the trade market before going out on a limb to get rid of him.