Phillies sign 16-year-old, eyeing Castillo


Apr 21, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr talks with media prior to playing the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are looking to add youth and position players, so they added both in one signing Monday.

The club added a 16-year-old shortstop from Panama, reports CSN’s Jim Salisbury.

Salisbury reports Arauz is 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds.

Arauz joins another recently signed Panamanian 16-year-old, left-handed pitcher Jhon Nunez.  It’s possible they could soon be throwing with catcher Lenin Rodriguez, a Venezuelan who is also 16.  Two young Venezuelan shortstops were also signed last month: Arquimedez Gamboa and Daniel Brito.

The Phillies’ top prospect is J.P. Crawford, a shortstop.

Philadelphia has been testing the waters on many international players lately, including the heavily sought after Cuban defector Rusney Castillo.  Castillo is predominately an outfielder, but he’s fielded on the dirt in front of scouts and it’s possible he could be a utility player.  The Phillies held a private workout with for last week.

Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News says manager Ryne Sandberg has seen some of Castillo’s skill.

General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. has seen Castillo perform in person.

The 27-year-old is represented by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports.  FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports Castillo is getting offers and could sign at any time.

The Phillies failed to sign now-Chicago White Sox first basemen Jose Abreu when he was getting looks from Major League teams.  Ryan Howard already occupied the Phillies’ first base spot, but they may regret not pushing for Abreu harder.  The Cuban slugger received American League Rookie of the Month honors for July and could be the AL Rookie of the Year.  Howard is currently on waivers and batted .165 in July.

Although it’s not realistic to think all of the recent signings and possible signings will pan out, they each present a low risk seeing as no prospects must be given up to acquire them.