Juan Castro Rumors
Veteran utility infielder Juan Castro has announced his retirement, according to a Dodgers press release. The Dodgers, who designated Castro for assignment last month, have hired the 39-year-old as a Special Assistant.
"It was time for me to make the decision to end my playing career," said Castro. "I'm honored that Ned [Colletti] thought of bringing me back to the organization where I first signed as a young kid more than 20 years ago."
While Castro also spent time with the Reds, Twins, Rockies, Orioles, and Phillies, he returned to Los Angeles frequently toward the end of his career. When he signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers last winter, it was the fourth time he'd signed with the organization as a free agent.
In parts of 17 seasons, Castro hit .229/.268/.327 in over 2800 plate appearances, logging significant playing time at second base, shortstop, and third base. According to Baseball-Reference, he retires having earned about $8MM over the course of his career.
Let's keep track of all of today's outright assignments right here ...
- The Dodgers have outrighted both Jay Gibbons and Juan Castro to Triple-A, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). Both players were designated for assignment earlier this week, and Hernandez says it's unclear if either with elect free agency or accept the assignment.
- The Dodgers have also outrighted Luis Vasquez, freeing up a 40-man roster spot for Trent Oeltjen according to Hernandez (Twitter links). Jerry Sands was optioned to Triple-A in a corresponding move.
The Dodgers announced that they designated Jay Gibbons and Juan Castro for assignment (Twitter link). In related moves, the Dodgers optioned Ivan DeJesus and John Ely to the minors, activated Juan Uribe, Blake Hawksworth and Marcus Thames from the disabled list and called up top prospect Dee Gordon.
Gibbons, 34, hit .255/.323/.345 with one home run in 62 plate appearances this year after signing a one-year, $650K deal with Los Angeles in the fall. In 2010 the nine-year veteran returned to the Major Leagues after a two-year absence and hit .280/.313/.507 in 80 plate appearances for the Dodgers.
Castro, 38, appeared in seven games for the Dodgers this year and collected four singles and a walk in his 15 plate appearances. The versatile infielder split the 2010 campaign between Los Angeles and Philadelphia, posting a .194/.237/.233 line in 140 plate appearances overall.
Links from around the majors as Armando Galarraga makes Arizona's rotation...
- One scout tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that every team is kicking the tires on bullpen help, back-of-the-rotation starters, utility players and backup catchers (Twitter link).
- Scouts break down former Padres, current Padres, and other West Coast teams for Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres. One scout says there's "no doubt" that Cameron Maybin can play center field in spacious Petco park.
- Top Pirates prospects Stetson Allie, Jameson Taillon and Tony Sanchez have little in common off of the field, but are looking forward to making an impact in Pittsburgh, writes Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are looking for a shortstop for Triple-A and suggests Luis Cruz, Tony Abreu and Juan Castro are options.
Links for Wednesday night..
- Longtime major leaguer Juan Castro told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that he never considered retirement at any point this winter. The 38-year-old is trying to hook on with the Dodgers in 2011 for what would be his fourth stint with the club.
- Earlier today, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told versatile Astros veteran Bill Hall that the club was "this close" to signing him, tweets Jack Curry of the YES Network.
- A source close to the Rockies told Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated that the Rangers sought a "very good player" for Michael Young, but didn't elaborate on who that player might be.
- Some in the Rangers front office feel that Neftali Feliz could develop into the type of starter that would otherwise cost a bundle in a trade, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
- Yankees fans have been hard on A.J. Burnett, who is set to earn $16.5MM annually through 2013. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that Burnett's career numbers are not all that different from Boston's Josh Beckett.
- Outfielder Travis Buck views his arrival in the Indians locker room as a fresh start, writes MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
Castro, 38, hit just .194/.237/.233 in 140 plate appearances for the Phillies and Dodgers in 2010. He's a career .228/.268/327 hitter, but has carved a 16-year big league career out of versatility and solid glovework. If he makes the team, Castro will earn $500K in 2011.
The Dodgers have designated Juan Castro for assignment, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Castro signed a minor-league deal with the team on July 27 after being released by Philadelphia the previous week.
The veteran utility infielder, never known as a strong hitter over his 16 major league seasons, had a .470 OPS in 140 plate appearances with the Phillies and Dodgers this year. Castro signed a $700K deal with Philadelphia in the offseason that will also pay him an extra $50K for the buyout of his $750K team option for 2011.
Castro, 38, came up through the Dodgers' system and also spent the '09 season with the club. He tallied a .198/.237/.238 big league line before the Phillies released him this year.
Castro, 38, signed a one-year deal that guaranteed him $750K with Philadelphia this winter. The team is still on the hook for the $315K owed to him during the remainder of the year, plus the $50K buyout of his $750K option for next year. Castro hit just .198/.237/.238 in 136 plate appearances this season after being pressed into semi-regular duty because of injuries to Polanco, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins.
The Dodgers signed veteran infielder Jamey Carroll to a two-year deal, as first reported by ESPN's Buster Olney. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports specified the contract's value as $3.85MM. Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times says there's another $500K in incentives. Carroll reportedly drew interest from eight teams this winter.
Carroll hit .276/.355/.340 in 358 plate appearances with Cleveland last season, playing mostly as a second baseman but also seeing significant time at third base and in the outfield. His versatility makes him particularly attractive to the Dodgers, since they stand to lose multiple infielders to free agency and Carroll would fill any number of holes on the bench or in the starting lineup should Blake DeWitt struggle as the everyday second baseman.
Where did the cash-strapped Dodgers get the money for Carroll? Hernandez notes that the infielder's funds came from the money GM Ned Colletti saved by shipping Juan Pierre to the White Sox. Colletti quickly spent about half of the Pierre savings on Carroll.
This post has been rewritten by Tim Dierkes.