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Phillies take a step back in talent and age by signing Luis Castillo


It was recently posted by CSNPhilly.com that the Phillies are reportedlyLuis Castillo= Bad Idea?  Photo: New York Daily News close to signing second baseman Luis Castillo to a minor league deal.

Castillo, who was released by the Mets this weekend, is in the final year of a four-year, $25 million dollar contract. A contract which he failed to even come close to fulfilling the expectations the Mets had for him.
Man oh man.
This either means that:

1. Chase Utley is in REALLY bad shape, or 2. Neither Josh Barfield, Pete Orr, Michael Martinez, or Wilson Valdez have instilled enough faith in the Phillies brass that they can hold down the fort until Utley gets back (or if he comes back).

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Moreover, the Phillies just signed a guy from the organization that represents everything the Phillies are not- losers. Castillo was part of that historic 2007 Mets collapse as well as their 2008 blowup at the end of the season. He isn't exactly the answer to the Phillies inconsistent offense, and his apparent lackluster play in New York has Mets fans wondering why he wasn't released sooner.

Let’s not forget that Castillo was one of several Mets who skipped out on visiting wounded soldiers in the hospital last September.  No, he didn’t exactly do what Michael Vick did. But for a team like the Phillies, who pride themselves on having a good clubhouse, Castillo might have some potential character flaws. After all, he is coming from the Mets. What's good about a minor league contract however, is that the Phils are obviously not handing him any second base job with the big club just yet.
As one of the oldest teams in baseball, the Phillies didn’t exactly help their cause on that front, either. Castillo is 35 years of age. His defense has been in decline for years. His legs, arguably considered to be the best part of his game, have betrayed him and his speed is long gone. A four man platoon of the above four players mentioned could serve (albeit unrealistically, of course) as a much better option than Castillo at this stage of his career. This isn’t the same guy who embarrassed the Phillies along with Juan Pierre in September 2003 as a member of the Marlins.

Let’s just hope that Castillo is a stopgap until Utley gets better, or until they decide what exactly to do with Utley as the season progresses. For now though, I’m scratching my head on this one.

And if Brad Lidge’s bicep tendinitis continues to linger, don’t worry. I heard Bill Lee is still pitching in beer leagues somewhere.......


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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