Friday, November 04, 2005


The Washington Nationals traded their third baseman Vinny Castilla to the San Diego Padres for right-hander Brian Lawrence and cash. The move is a wonderful opportunity for Ryan Zimmerman, the No. 4 overall pick in June's amateur draft, to start at third for the Nationals next season who is also believed to be a fixture at the hot corner in Washington in the years to come. Castilla has always been a Padres upshot, not only from the offensive stance, but from a defensive perspective. Indeed one of the finest defensive third basemen in the game. The Padres long search for a player to play at 3B has finally come to an end. Earlier the team considered Sean Burroughs who struggled so badly that he was demoted to the minors in July when the NL West champions procured Joe Randa in a trade with Cincinnati. Randa filed for free agency after the season. The Padres saturation has obvious to come after seeing Vinny hitting home runs against them either in Colorado or Washington. The 38-year-old Castilla, nagged by knee tendinitis, hit .253 with 12 home runs and 66 RBIs in his first season with the former Expos. He led the NL in RBIs with Colorado in 2004, and signed a $6.2 million, two-year deal as a free agent with Washington last offseason. But with the emergence of Zimmerman who hit .397 with 10 doubles in 58 at-bats and made some impressive plays in the field as a September call-up, put Castilla’s status at stake. Castilla is a .278 career hitter in 15 major league seasons with 315 homers and 1,078 RBIs. And now he goes to another big home venue in San Diego's Petco Park to produce prodigious scores.


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