Yankees Claim Utility Player Diego Castillo from Mets, Designate Downs for Assignment

NEW YORK CITY (AP) – In a surprising move, the New York Yankees have acquired utility player Diego Castillo off of waivers from their cross-town rivals, the New York Mets. This acquisition comes as the Yankees designate infielder Jeter Downs for assignment.

Castillo, 26, returns to the team that originally signed him as an international amateur out of Venezuela. However, the Yankees later traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a deal that ultimately did not work out for the Pirates. Castillo was designated for assignment and subsequently traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he spent most of his time in the minors.

Despite his limited major league experience, Castillo has shown promise in Triple-A, where he displayed strong on-base abilities and stole 13 bases in the previous season. He is also versatile defensively, having played all four infield positions and spending time in the outfield corners.

The Yankees, who already have an infield consisting of Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, Anthony Volpe, and DJ LeMahieu, are looking to add depth to their roster. With Castillo having an option remaining, he can provide valuable depth as a minor league player until his services are needed at the big league level.

As the Yankees gain Castillo, they part ways with Jeter Downs. Downs, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, has struggled to establish himself in the majors. He has bounced around to several teams, including the Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, and now the Yankees, but has failed to find consistent success.

Despite his offensive struggles, Downs may still attract interest from other clubs due to his youth, defensive versatility, and former prospect pedigree. The Yankees now have a week to trade Downs or attempt to pass him through waivers.

In conclusion, the Yankees have made a shrewd move by acquiring Diego Castillo off waivers. While Jeter Downs has not lived up to expectations, he may still have a chance to prove himself with another team. As the Yankees continue to strengthen their roster, they will rely on the depth provided by players like Castillo and the development of their young prospects.