Phillies’ Castro Signing Could Eliminate One Third Base Candidate

November 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Fan News

The Philadelphia Phillies are set to open its free agent signing as soon as next week with the signing of free agent utility man Juan Castro, late of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The signing appears imminent, according to his agent, who added in a Philadelphia Inquirer report that Castro is out of the country and has to pass a physical to make the signing official.

Castro, 37, is a .230 hitter, with a .270 on-base percentage, in 15 major-league seasons. In 57 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers last year, he batted .277 while playing shortstop, second base, third base, and left field.

While not threatening the starting position of any player, Castro fills the role of Eric Bruntlett, who hit .171 last year for the Phillies.

Seeing that the Phillies let incumbent third baseman Pedro Feliz walk instead of picking up a $5.5 million option next year, the Phillies have left third base open for a new player.

Among the candidates are Chone Figgins of the Angels, Adrian Beltre of the Mariners, Mark DeRosa of the Cardinals, Placido Polanco of the Tigers, and wild card Garrett Atkins of the Colorado Rockies, who avoided arbitration by signing a one-year $7.05 million contract for 2010.

Atkins has been rumored to traded, according to a Rockies’ website.

Out of all the candidates, DeRosa should now be least likely to sign with the Phillies.

Could you imagine two multiple position utility men on the team? The Phillies would have to sell DeRosa as an every day player. I, for one, can’t buy it.

Recently, I and the Phillies wanted DeRosa. That was this past summer, when Feliz was still on the team.

Both DeRosa and Castro bat right.

And, Castro comes cheaper.

Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News today lobbied for Figgins, who would replace Jimmy Rollins at the top of the lineup in the story: “Figgins would fit nicely atop Phillies batting order.”

Figgins stole 42 bases last year and had a near .400 on-base percentage.

Some reports, however, said that the Phillies would not be able to pay the money and years that Figgins’ agent wants.

Beltre, in limited time due to an injury, hit .265 with eight home runs. He hit 25 dingers with the Mariners in 2008 and 48 in 2004 with the Dodgers.

Figgins, Atkins, or Beltre would be the only guys I would consider an upgrade on the position.

The best we can hope, as Donnellon suggested, is that Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. is playing it coy and signs Figgins.

If money were an issue, however, a reasonable option would be to sign Beltre.



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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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