In a very rare trade between the two New York teams, the New York Mets sent Miguel Castro to the Bronx in a swap of relievers in exchange for southpaw Joely Rodriguez.
I believe this was not a good trade made by Billy Eppler and the Mets.
Miguel Castro was one of the most important relievers in the Mets bullpen last season. He led Mets relievers with 69 appearances and 70.1 innings. In those appearances, he went 3-4 with a 3.45 ERA, posting a career-high in H/9 (6.1) and HR/9 (0.9), while striking out 9.9 batters per nine. He had his issues throwing strikes at times as he walked 5.5/9, but he was effective nonetheless.
I expected Castro to be a key piece for this Mets bullpen once again. They have plenty of talented arms including Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Adam Ottavino, and Drew Smith still there, but Castro is a guy they could use late in games or even when they need multiple innings. He did that on occasion while also showing a rubber arm, pitching very often.
The reason the Mets did this trade was to get a left-handed reliever. Chasen Shreve appears to have made the team, but the Mets wanted a second lefty.
While I understand wanting another lefty, I don't understand why this trade had to be made. Miguel Castro can get left handed hitters out. He held lefties to a .198/.313/.270 slash line with just two home runs allowed in 147 plate appearances. Those are better numbers in a larger sample size than Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is a prototypical left handed specialist. He held lefties to a .559 OPS last season but righties slashed .339/.380/.446 against the southpaw. This is alarming because the three-batter rule pretty much guarantees he will have to face righties. Castro can get both hands out, Rodriguez can only get one.
While Rodriguez was good against left-handed hitters in 2021, he has not been effective in his career against them. They have slashed .272/.371/.347 against Rodriguez in his brief career. Even with Castro's rough start to his career, Rodriguez has also largely been ineffective.
Something that is good about this trade is the team control. Castro is set to be a free agent after the year while Rodriguez has three years of team control after this one. Even with that being said, Rodriguez is 30 and it's very possible he isn't even on the team in three years. Castro is 27 and appears to be on track to be a very reliable high leverage arm.
Castro was wild at times, but he came into his own. If the Mets really wanted a second lefty that badly they could have signed someone like Andrew Chafin who signed a two-year $12 million dollar deal with the Tigers. And if they really wanted Rodriguez they could have traded a prospect or two. Giving up a better reliever just so you can get a pitcher who throws left-handed makes no sense to me.
The Mets are giving up a reliever with an incredibly high ceiling that he was already starting to climb towards in exchange for a reliever without a large track record of success in getting left handed hitters out and has never shown the capability of getting a right handed hitter out. Yes, he does have more control, but does that really matter if he isn't any good? I hope I'm proven wrong, but right now I do not like this trade for the Mets whatsoever.