Castro joins Twins after Guzman signs with D.C.

Updated: November 23, 2004, 10:51 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Infielder Juan Castro and the Minnesota Twins agreed Tuesday to a $2.05 million, two-year contract.

Juan Castro
Third Base
Cincinnati Reds
111 5 26 36 1 .244

Castro, 32, hit .244 with 21 doubles, two triples, five homers and 26 RBI in 299 at-bats over 111 games for Cincinnati last season. Castro started 35 at third base, 21 at shortstop, seven at second base and three at first base.

An eight-year veteran who is considered a strong fielder, Castro became attractive to the Twins when shortstop Cristian Guzman signed with Washington last week. Castro will fight for playing time at the position with Jason Bartlett, Nick Punto, Augie Ojeda and possibly Luis Rivas.

"I want to make sure we have people there that can pick up the ball, and I know he can do that," general manager Terry Ryan said. "I know it's not going to make a big dent in the industry, but I think this is going to help us."

Third baseman Corey Koskie is a free agent who might be too expensive for Minnesota to keep, but Ryan said Castro was signed in response to Guzman's departure and not as a potential replacement for Koskie.

Castro gets $1 million in each of the next two seasons, and Minnesota has a $1 million option for 2007 with a $500,000 buyout. If he has 500 plate appearances in 2006, Castro can void the option.

In addition, the option price can increase to $1.2 million, depending on his performance, and the buyout could increase to $100,000.

Castro can make an additional $250,000 per season: $25,000 each for 300 and 350 plate appearances; $50,000 each for 400 and 450 plate appearances; and $100,000 for 500 plate appearances.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press