The Phillies and veteran utilityman Juan Castro have agreed in principle on a contract, and will likely finalize the agreement with a physical next week, Castro’s agent told the Inquirer today. Additionally, there were strong indications in baseball that a one-year deal could be announced next week, pending the results of the physical.
According to agent Oscar Suarez, Castro is out of the country, which is why he will not likely take the physical until next week.
"We have been in discussions with his agent," said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. "That's all I can tell you right now."
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 Bruntlett, and can fill in for shortstop Jimmy Rollins.
Manager Charlie Manuel is notoriously reluctant to utilize his bench players extensively, and has said publicly that he wants a utility player capable can of starting in place of Rollins and Chase Utley. Bruntlett, who batted .171 in 72 games last season, clearly never gained Manuel’s trust.
Rollins and Utley will both be 31 next season, and would benefit from regular time off. Rollins played in 155 games last season; Utley 156. The second baseman in particular endured a rough September, batting just .204. He later admitted to suffering mental and physical fatigue late in the season.