Castro, Mets agree to one-year deal

Castro, Mets agree to one-year deal

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Catcher Ramon Castro and the Mets agreed on a one-year, $800,000 contract on Tuesday, avoiding salary arbitration.

Castro, 29, served as Mike Piazza's backup last season, batting .244 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs in 99 games.

"I'm happy," Castro said. "The Mets are the team that gave me a chance to play, and I really want to be there."

Signed as a free agent, Castro won the backup catcher's job last Spring Training when Jason Phillips was traded to the Dodgers for left-hander Kazuhisa Ishii.

Castro figures to fill the same role for the Mets this year, backing up Paul Lo Duca -- a teammate of his with the Marlins in 2004.

"I know what my job is going to be," Castro said. "They know I'm going to be ready on the bench. I know I'm going to have some at-bats and get into games. I'm looking forward to it and winning a championship with the Mets."

Castro said he is especially excited to Spring Training following the addition of first baseman Carlos Delgado, acquired in a November trade with Florida.

"That's what we really needed," Castro said. "Everyone knows what he can do with the bat, and he's proven it in both leagues. He's going to make a huge difference."

The Mets have two remaining players eligible for salary arbitration: right-hander Victor Zambrano and infielder Chris Woodward.

Bryan Hoch is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.