Sources for CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury have confirmed that 35-year-old former Met Luis Castillo will come aboard on a minor league deal.
Castillo, who was released by the Mets on Friday, hit just .235/.337/.267 in 299 plate appearances in 2010 and was hobbled by foot problems. His release was anticipated as far back as last season and the Mets will be on the hook for $6 million in salary, minus the minimum he'll get from the Phils if he makes the team. Castillo's speed and range have reportedly disappeared, but the Phillies are hoping that his experience and lingering on-base skills will help them cope with the loss of Chase Utley, who will be out indefinitely. Although Castillo slugged an abismal .267, which is a sin for a regular with that many plate appearances, his on-base percentage held steady at .337, which was higher than Wilson Valdez, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and only a fraction lower than Placido Polanco a year ago. The season before, it went as high as .387, but that was before his foot problems.
The three-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner (2002-05) will likely compete with Josh Barfield, Michael Martinez, Delwyn Young and Pete Orr for one of the two open roster spots, but it could just be a way for the Phils to decide in two weeks whether or not Castillo is cooked. A minor league deal is absolutely appropriate.
Metsblog: "As far as I’m concerned, this is great news. For the exact reasons I didn’t want him on the Mets (old, no range, only slap singles, poorly-timed bunting, and moping around), I’m happy he's filling in for Chase Utley."