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08/14/2006 3:37 PM ET
Rockies agree to terms with infielder Vinny Castilla on Minor League contract
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DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies announced this afternoon that infielder Vinny Castilla has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with the organization. He is scheduled to work out with the Rockies for the remainder of this homestand before reporting to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Castilla is expected to join the Rockies when rosters expand in September. He will join the organization in a yet to be determined capacity at the end of his playing career.

"Vinny is a veteran player and we believe he can help our club win," Executive Vice President and General Manager Dan O'Dowd said. "He will be an asset for our club over the final month of the season, both on the field and in the clubhouse."

Castilla, 39, will be in his third stint with Colorado. A career .276 hitter, some of Castilla's most productive years came in purple pinstripes. He was a member of the lone playoff team in franchise history, and hit 40 home runs in 3 consecutive seasons from 1996-98.

"In the brief history of our franchise, few players have endeared themselves to Rockies fans as much as Vinny," Rockies President Keli McGregor said. "Vinny and his family have lived in the area and been a part of our community for several years now. We are very excited that he will remain with the organization when his playing days are over, and he can continue to have a positive impact in the community."

Castilla hit .232 with 4 home runs and 23 RBI in 72 games for San Diego this season before he was released by the Padres on July 21. His most recent season with the Rockies came in 2004, when he batted .271 with 35 home runs and led the National League with 131 RBI. He established career highs that season in doubles (43) and extra base hits (81), and set what is still a league record with a .987 fielding percentage at third base. Castilla was also with the Rockies from 1993-1999, during which he was a member of the club's 1995 Wild Card team.

Castilla ranks among the franchise's all-time leaders in several categories, including games (3rd, 1,083), home runs (3rd, 238), RBI (4th, 741), hits (4th, 1,202), total bases (4th, 2,164), runs (4th, 609), and doubles (4th, 208). An All-Star in 1995 and 1998 while with Colorado, Castilla established career highs in most categories in 1998, when he became the only Rockie to start every game in a season. He batted .319 with 46 home runs and 144 RBI that year, the most RBI by a third baseman in National League history, and the 4th-highest single season total ever by a Rockie. He joins Todd Helton as the only players in franchise history with 6 seasons of 30 or more home runs.

The Oaxaca, Mexico native has the most home runs (319), hits (900), RBI (1,101), and doubles (349) of any player born in Mexico in major league history

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