PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Luis Castillo never was an unlikely inclusion in the Mets' Spring Training. Since late last season, when the club sensed -- read: hoped -- Castillo had done enough in his 2009 revival to spark interest in him among other clubs, the Mets have looked for a taker -- a club to assume the $12 million obligation remaining on Castillo's contract.

The Mets weren't seeking equal value on personnel -- or any personnel for that matter -- but rather a way to get out from under. A taker never spoke. Castillo did on Tuesday after he reported to camp. He had heard how available the club had made him after he had batted .308 with a .387 on-base average in 142 games. It has been no secret that the Mets had coveted Orlando Hudson, now with the Twins, for two offseasons.

"I knew," Castillo said. "People told me. But I have to understand. They want to try to get another player ... a second baseman like me. I understand. Baseball is a business. I am a professional. I don't have any control over what happens. So I don't worry. I will work harder and harder to get ready for this year and see what happens."