The Royals announced today they have come to terms with infielder Ivan Castillo on a minor league deal. Teams can still sign players to minor league contracts during the lockout.
Castillo is a 26-year old switch-hitter with experience at second base, third base, and shortstop. He was originally signed by Cleveland out of the Dominican Republic, but was selected by Toronto in the 2017 minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. In 2018, he signed as a minor league free agent with the San Diego Padres, and finally reached the big leagues last year for three games.
Csstillo spent most of last year in Triple-A El Paso, hitting .287/.326/.366 with three home runs and 12 stolen bases. He has not hit for much power, but can run a bit, stealing 115 bases in nine minor league seasons. He doesn’t walk much, but puts the ball in play, with a 14.6 strikeout rate in the minors.
Castillo will most likely serve as infield depth in Triple-A Omaha, but could have a shot to make the team with Jeison Guzman having signed already with the Diamondbacks, Lucius Fox claimed off waivers by the Nationals, Erick Mejia also a minor league free agent, and few other options for a middle infield reserve role behind Whit Merrifield, Nicky Lopez, and Adalberto Mondesi.