Phillies, Rangers Swap Young Lefties

Lefthanded pitching prospects Fabio Castro and Daniel Haigwood should be used to getting traded by now. Originally signed by the White Sox, they changed addresses in offseason deals before they were exchanged for one another on Thursday. Castro went to the Phillies while Haigwood joined the Rangers, with Texas also receiving cash considerations.

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2001, Castro went No. 1 overall to the Royals in the major league Rule 5 draft at the Winter Meetings. In a prearranged deal, Kansas City immediately sent him to Texas for infielder Esteban German. Castro boosted his prospect status with a strong performance in the Dominican Winter League. The Phillies assume the Rule 5 responsibilities attached to Castro, meaning they can’t sent him to the minors without passing him through waivers and then offering him back to the White Sox for half his $50,000 draft price. Though he’s just 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds, Castro throws hard, as his fastball usually sits at 91-93 mph. He also has a changeup with splitter action and a tight curveball. The Rangers stashed him on their disabled list and on a minor league rehab assignment for a combined six weeks with a groin injury, and he appeared in just four games with Texas. He had no record and a 4.32 ERA in eight innings, with a 5-7 K-BB ratio, .200 opponent average and no homers allowed.

Haigwood, 22, was a 16th-round pick in 2002 out of Midland High in Pleasant Plains, Ark., where he won his first 43 decisions before losing his finale. He was a consistent winner in the White Sox system as well, going 32-11 in 61 career starts. He missed the entire 2003 season after tearing the anterior-cruciate ligament in his left knee. Part of the November Jim Thome trade, Haigwood has gone 2-5, 3.54 in 15 starts at Double-A reading. He has an 85-42 K-BB ratio in 84 innings, while opponents have batted .231 with seven homers against him. In contrast to Castro, Haigwood relies more on finesse than power. His curveball is his best pitch, and he also throws both two-seam and four-seam fastballs, as well as a changeup. His sinker is better than his 88-92 mph four-seamer.

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