Phillies sign recently released Castillo

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 12:40 PM ET

CLEARWATER, FL - The Philadelphia Phillies have signed second baseman Luis Castillo to a minor league contract.

Castillo was released by the New York Mets on Friday and could become Philadelphia's starting second baseman, if he can first earn a spot on the team and if Chase Utley's knee issues keep him sidelined for any length of time.

Utley has been undergoing treatment for a lingering knee problem and the Phillies indicated earlier this month that surgery may eventually be required.

Castillo is a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner in 15 big league seasons with Florida, Minnesota and the Mets. He hit .302 in 2009 with New York, but struggled in 2010, batting just .235 in 86 games while battling injuries.

The 35-year-old Dominican native averaged just 105 games played in three full seasons with the Mets, who acquired him from Minnesota on July 30, 2007. He then signed a four-year contract with New York before the 2008 campaign.

Castillo's best days came with Florida, as he earned each of his All-Star nods and Gold Glove wins during a four-year span from 2002-05 with the Marlins. He was also part of Florida's World Series championship team in 2003.

In 1,720 career games, Castillo is a .290 hitter with 370 stolen bases.


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