With Chase Utley yet to play in a spring training game as he suffers from patella tendinitis, the Phillies made a move to acquire some depth at second base signing former Met Luis Castillo to a minor league deal according CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury. Castillo was released by the Mets on Friday and cleared waivers this afternoon.
Wilson Valdez is expected to be the opening day second baseman with Utley likely starting the year on the DL. Castillo will compete with the likes of Josh Barfield and Pete Orr, who have played 2B in the spring, for a roster spot. This seems to be a fairly no-brainer type move for the Phils in that they risk almost nothing because he comes incredibly cheap. The Mets will still be on the hook for six million owed to Castillo, while the Phillies will pay him only the veteran minimum.
However, while it's a low risk move it's probably also only mild reward. He is likely to be more productive than Wilson Valdez, but he's not the player he once was. The Good Phight has more on some of the projections for Castillo if you're interested. Bill James is optimistic, while other systems don't quite agree. Still, the 35 year old is veteran major leaguer who can get on base and while he struggled through an injury filled 2010, he did have a good 2009.
Whether Castillo proves to be Plan C or Plan B remains to be seen, but Plan A is clearly to get Utley healthy and back.