The Pirates gave up on infielder Jose Castillo, releasing their former starting second baseman Thursday after selecting right-handed reliever Evan Meek in the Rule 5 draft. The 26-year-old Castillo, Pittsburgh's starting second baseman from 2004-06, was demoted to a utility infielder role last season and was used infrequently by former manager Jim Tracy. Castillo made $1.9 million this season and, because he is eligible for arbitration, was likely to earn more next year. Now that he's on the open market, Castillo could be an affordable pickup for a team seeking an experienced infielder with pop and a capable glove. He batted .256 in four seasons with Pittsburgh, hitting .244 in 221 at-bats this season. He hit .253 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs in 2006, although he did not homer after Aug. 14, and had 11 homers and 53 RBIs in 101 games in 2005.
Pirates Release IF Jose Castillo