Alexi Casilla Rumors

Tigers To Acquire Alexi Casilla From Rays

The Tigers have acquired infielder Alexi Casilla from the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports (Twitter links). Per the report, Detroit made the move to bolster its organizational depth up the middle.

Casilla, 30, has not seen big league time this year and played in just one game last year for the Orioles. Before that, however, he was rather an active utility player, mostly from the Twins. All told, Casilla has taken 1,893 plate appearances and produced a .247/.302/.331 slash with 80 stolen bases. He has spent most of his time at second, but also has plenty of experience playing shortstop.

Though he’s yet to receive a call-up, Casilla has actually been quite productive this year at Triple-A. Over 142 plate appearances, he has slashed .315/.379/.449. Though a .363 BABIP has helped drive that productivity, Casilla is showing better patience and power numbers than he did last year in the upper minors.


Rays Re-Sign Alexi Casilla

The Rays have signed infielder Alexi Casilla to a new minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Durham, according to the Durham Bulls’ Twitter feed.  Casilla originally signed a minor league deal with Tampa in January but was released at the end of March.  The move allowed the Rays to avoid paying Casilla a $100K retention bonus as an Article XX(B) free agent, yet clearly they wanted him back in the organization.

Casilla, 30, only appeared in one Major League game in 2014 (with the Orioles) as he spent most of the season at Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate.  Since first breaking into the bigs in 2006, Casilla has posted a .247/.302/.331 slash line and gone 80-for-91 in stolen base chances over 1893 career plate appearances with the Twins and Orioles.


Rays Release Alexi Casilla

The Rays have released infielder Alexi Casilla, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports on Twitter. Tampa will avoid having to pay the veteran a $100K bonus with the move.

The 30-year-old has previously spent time with the Twins and Orioles, averaging 269 trips to bat over the 2007-13 time frame while slashing .248/.302/.332 and swiping 80 bags in that stretch. Last year, however, Casilla only got one game in the bigs, spending most of the year at Triple-A with Baltimore.



Rays Nearing Minor League Deal With Alexi Casilla

The Rays are likely to sign free agent infielder Alexi Casilla to a minor league deal, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The 30-year-old will compete for a middle infield job. The club may yet acquire a starting shortstop, per Topkin.

The former Twin and Oriole has appeared in parts of nine seasons. He played just one game with Baltimore last season and spent most of his season at the Triple-A level. While neither a defensive wizard nor offensive threat, Casilla has occasionally approached a league average rate of performance. He’s a career .247/.302/.331 hitter in 1,893 plate appearances.

Casilla has experience at second base, shortstop, and third base with most of his time spent at the keystone. Under Joe Maddon, the Rays were known for valuing flexibility. It stands to reason that the club still prefers players with plenty of utility.


Orioles Designate Preston Guilmet For Assignment

The Orioles have announced that they’ve designated reliever Preston Guilmet for assignment. In a corresponding move, they’ve purchased the contract of infielder Alexi Casilla.

Guilmet, 27, pitched 10 1/3 innings for the Orioles this year, striking out 12 batters and walking just two but giving up two homers and six earned runs. Guilmet, a long-time closer in the Indians’ system, has always posted strong numbers in the minor leagues, but hasn’t gotten a clean shot at a big-league job, perhaps in part because of his underwhelming stuff — most of his fastballs don’t top 90MPH, and he doesn’t get many ground balls.

Casilla tells Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter) that he thought his season was over, and that he had been getting ready to play winter ball in the Dominican. The 30-year-old Casilla hit .264/.315/.320 in 213 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk this year. He has not played since August 30 due to a hamstring injury. He is in the Orioles’ lineup today, playing third base.


East Notes: Ichiro, Casilla, Coghlan, Lind

Now that the Yankees have designated Vernon Wells for assignment, they're more likely to keep Ichiro Suzuki, NJ.com's Brendan Kuty writes. If Ichiro stays, it will be in a bench role, with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran holding the starting outfield roles and Alfonso Soriano mostly playing DH. There had been some whispers that the Yankees could trade Ichiro, although, as Kuty points out, it was unclear who the Yankees might trade him to. Here are more notes from the East divisions.


Orioles Re-Sign Alexi Casilla

The Orioles have announced that they've re-signed infielder Alexi Casilla to a minor-league deal with a spring training invite. The O's declined their option on Casilla in November after he hit .214/.268/.295 in 125 plate appearances last season.

Casilla, who can play shortstop, second base and third base, could be a candidate for a bench job in Baltimore in 2014. He has a lifetime .248/.302/.332 line in parts of eight seasons, seven of them with the Twins.


Orioles Decline Alexi Casilla’s Option

The Orioles have declined their $3MM club option on infielder Alexi Casilla, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Casilla will instead receive a $200K buyout.

The 29-year-old switch-hitter batted just .214/.268/.295 in 62 games (125 plate appearances) in his only season with the Orioles. Baltimore claimed Casilla off waivers from the Twins last offseason and avoided arbitration with him by agreeing to a one-year, $1.7MM contract with a $3MM club option ($200K buyout) for the 2014 campaign.

Casilla has turned himself into a solid defender at second base over the past several seasons and can handle shortstop as well, but his complete lack of offense — he batted just .234/.278/.314 in 451 plate appearances from 2012-13 — likely limits him to a minor league deal this offseason.


Orioles Notes: Free Agents, Roberts, Casilla

Orioles Executive Vice President Dan Duquette appears to have stepped back slightly from his declaration last offseason that the club wouldn't sign a free agent tied to draft pick compensation, Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun reports, potentially putting targets such as Ervin Santana in play for the O's. Connolly writes that Duquette seems to feel better about the club's ability to sign international talent, which might explain the less conservative stance on draft picks. Here's more Saturday night Orioles links:

  • Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com examines potential free agent starting pitching targets for the Orioles, whose starters combined for a 4.57 ERA in 2013. The article profiles Matt GarzaHiroki Kuroda, Santana, Dan Haren and Ricky Nolasco, noting that the O's have been connected with Nolasco in the past.
  • In a separate article, manager Buck Showalter tells Melewski that the front office will indeed consider adding a free agent arm this offseason. However, Showalter says the team is also excited about young pitchers such as Eduardo Rodriguez, who finished up the year at Double-A. The manager added that while he's never been turned down by owner Peter Angelos when proposing a deal, he's "not a guy that asks a lot."
  • Showalter sounds as though he expects Brian Roberts to return next season, Melewski writes. The oft-injured second baseman has appeared in just 133 games over the last three seasons, but we'd heard previously that he's among the free agents whom the club is most interested in retaining.
  • In an article reporting on the O's decision to decline their $5MM 2014 option on Tsuyoshi Wada, which was announced earlier this evening, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com discloses that the team will announce next week that it has also declined its $3MM option on Alexi Casilla. The infielder is in line for a $200K buyout if that does come to pass.

Quick Hits: Bourn, Swisher, Red Sox, Alvarez, Diaz

It's been another major day of hot stove news, headlined by Josh Hamilton's deal with the Angels and Anibal Sanchez's forthcoming choice between the Cubs and Tigers.  Here are some final items as we hit Friday…