Juan Castro announces retirement

LOS ANGELES -- Veteran infielder Juan Castro, whom the Los Angeles Dodgers signed out of his native Mexico more than 20 years ago and who went on to fashion a 17-year career as a big league utility man with five different clubs, has announced his retirement.

He will remain with the organization as a special assistant to baseball operations and player development.

Castro, 39, signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers last winter, continuing his third different stint with the club. He appeared in seven games for the Dodgers this season, going 4 for 14, but was designated for assignment a month ago. After he cleared waivers, rather than reporting to Triple-A Albuquerque, Castro went home to the Phoenix area to ponder whether he wanted to continue playing, with at least some hint that there was a job waiting for him in general manager Ned Colletti's front office if he didn't.

Castro will work primarily in player development, but also will evaluate both at the major and minor league levels.

The defensively-gifted Castro batted .229 with 36 homers, 234 RBIs and a .268 on-base percentage in his big league career, during which he spent time with the Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.