Castro: 'Perfect' fit in New York

January 19th, 2016

NEW YORK -- Starlin Castro's favorite "Welcome to New York" moment was a lengthy telephone conversation with Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, the new Yankees infielder said this week in a post on Derek Jeter's The Players' Tribune website.

"That's the sort of call that you dream about as a kid … and it really was a dream come true," Castro said. "Reggie had so much advice and encouragement for me -- and said that he was looking forward to working with me in Spring Training. I think I smiled for the rest of the day after we got off the phone."

Castro, 25, was acquired by the Yankees from the Cubs on Dec. 8 in exchange for right-hander Adam Warren and a player to be named later, later revealed to be infielder Brendan Ryan.

The Yankees plan to use Castro as their everyday second baseman this season. Castro said that it is "perfect" to be traded to a team with the Yankees' winning tradition, and after thanking the Cubs and their fans for his support, said that he could not be happier to be playing in New York.

"And now I want to help the Yankees win. That's what I'm here to do," Castro said. "When I learned that I was being traded, it was bittersweet. I thought of all of the things that I would miss: from amazing teammates like Anthony Rizzo, to Wrigley and its fans, to all of the ways that Chicago has become my home since I was 20. But I am also at the stage of my career where I just want to win. Period."

Castro, who now makes his offseason home in Tampa, Fla., said that he has been "welcomed with open arms" by several of his new Yankees teammates.

"Carlos Beltran, who I played against when he was in St. Louis and whose career I admire, got in touch with me right away - and already has made me feel like part of the group," Castro said.

Yankees pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report on Feb. 18, with position players due to report on Feb. 24. The Yankees' first full-squad workout is set for Feb. 25.