Mets acquire 2B Castillo from Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS – The NL East-leading New York Mets neatly filled a big hole at second base, acquiring three-time All-Star Luis Castillo from the Minnesota Twins for a pair of prospects Monday.

The 31-year-old Castillo will give the Mets three switch-hitters at the top of their lineup when injured Carlos Beltran returns and brings speed and a .304 average to a batting order already topped by major league stolen base leader Jose Reyes. Castillo twice was the NL steals leader, though bad knees have limited his running in recent seasons.

A three-time Gold Glove winner who still has above-average range, Castillo also should solidify the defense in a standout infield with Reyes at shortstop, David Wright at third and Carlos Delgado at first. Ruben Gotay had been playing second since Jose Valentin broke a bone in his right leg when he fouled off a pitch at Dodger Stadium on June 21.

Minnesota gets catcher Drew Butera, who will report to Double-A New Britain, and outfielder Dustin Martin, who will go to Class-A Fort Myers. The deal, which came together in less than 24 hours, was completed one day before the deadline for making trades without waivers.

Braves on brink of getting Teixeira from Texas in multiplayer trade

ATLANTA – Mark Teixeira could be the Atlanta Braves’ new cleanup hitter as early as Tuesday night.

The Braves reached an agreement on Monday to send rookie catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and three minor leaguers to Texas for the powerful, switch-hitting Teixeira. The official announcement of the deal is expected to come on Tuesday.

The negotiations were confirmed by people familiar with the deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it wasn’t finalized.

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