- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2011

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. (AP) - The New York Mets have released second baseman Luis Castillo, although he is owed $6 million this year.

General manager Sandy Alderson informed Castillo of the decision Friday morning with approval from Mets owner Jeff Wilpon.

Alderson said at a press conference that there were a variety of reasons for letting Castillo go. He added that given where the organization was headed, it was “in our mutual interest.”

The 35-year-old Castillo was preparing for the final season of a four-year, $24 million contract. He batted .235 with no homers and 17 RBIs in 247 at-bats last season before losing his starting spot to Ruben Tejada and Luis Hernandez.

He was among five candidates for the role this spring, a list that includes Brad Emaus, Justin Turner, Daniel Murphy and Hernandez.

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