According to several media outlets, the Philadephia Phillies have agreed to terms with free agent Juan Castro on a one-year contract with a club option for 2011 pending a physical. The signing is expected to be announced next week.
Castro is listed as a shortstop, but he's a utility player who will replace Eric Bruntlett on the roster for the 2010 season. In 2009, Castro played 20 games at second base, eight at third, and two in left field.
The 37-year old hit .277, with one home run, and nine RBI in 112 at bats with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also had a .311 on-base percentage and scored 18 runs after signing a minor league deal with Los Angeles.
In 15 seasons paying for the Dodgers, Reds, Twins, and Orioles, Castro is a .230 career hitter with a .270 OBP. He's a journeyman infielder, but he's a guy who fits what the Phillies were looking for.
Philadelphia's bench struggled all season long last year, and Bruntlett had one of the worst seasons a player could have. In 105 at bats last year, Bruntlett hit .171 with a .224 on-base percentage.
Charlie Manuel loved Bruntlett's versatility in the field, which was the only reason Bruntlett stuck around the entire season. They Phillies hope Castro can provide a modest offensive upgrade over Bruntlett.
The Phillies are still in the market for a third baseman and bullpen help, but with the signing of Castro, they can cross the utility player off their to do list.
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