LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that 17-year Major League veteran and former Dodger infielder Juan Castro has retired as an active player and been named to the position of Special Assistant, Baseball Operations and Player Development. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
“Juan was a consummate pro as a player,” said Colletti. “The opportunity to add him to our staff as someone who can both recognize and teach those traits is a true plus for this organization.”
Castro, 39, will spend time in player development and in evaluating at both the minor and Major League levels.
“It was time for me to make the decision to end my playing career,” said Castro. “I’m honored that Ned thought of bringing me back to the organization where I first signed as a young kid more than 20 years ago. I’m very excited to once again work for the Dodgers in a new and challenging role.”
The native of Mexico retired earlier this week after 17 years in the Major Leagues, including parts of eight seasons with the Dodgers. Castro hit .229 in 1,103 career games, primarily as a sure-handed shortstop. Castro originally signed with the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on June 18, 1991 and spent four full seasons in the Dodger minor league organization, before his Major League debut with the big club on Sept. 2, 1995.
In addition to his career with the Dodgers (1995-99, 2009, 2010, 2011), the infielder also spent time with the Reds (2000-04, 2006-08), Twins (2005-06), Orioles (2008) and Phillies (2010). He finished his career with a .977 career fielding percentage in 571 games at shortstop, which is tied for 15th all-time among players with at least 500 games played at the position.
Castro is one of the most prolific Mexican players in Major League history, ranking fifth among Mexican-born players in games (1,103), at-bats (2,627) and doubles (123) while finishing seventh in home runs (36), runs (253), hits (601) and RBI (234). Castro represented Mexico during the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.
In addition to his glove work at shortstop, Castro owns a .982 career fielding percentage in 251 games at second base and a .954 mark over 264 games at third base. He appeared in the 1996 and 2009 playoffs with the Dodgers and currently resides in Peoria, AZ with his wife and four kids.