Veteran utilityman Juan Castro will take his physical—the last remaining barrier to finalizing a one-year-contract with the Phillies—on Thursday, his agent Oscar Suarez said this morning.
The Phils and Castro agreed in principle last week on a deal, but Castro was out of the country and could not immediately take the physical. Though the overwhelming majority of free agent signees pass their physical and make their contract official, the exam is an important final step toward Castro becoming a Phillie.
Castro, 37, is a .230 hitter, with a .270 on-base percentage, in 15 major league seasons. In 57 games with the Dodgers last year, he batted .277, while playing shortstop, second base, third base and left field.
He fits the profile of what the Phils are seeking at the utility position: a versatile defender who can provide a modest offensive upgrade over the departing Eric Bruntlett, and can fill in for shortstop Jimmy Rollins. With a willingness to spend money on relief pitchers and limited payroll flexibility, the Phils are not likely to splurge on bench players. The signing of Castro is consistent with that model.