Santiago Casilla Rumors

2016 Vesting Options Update

Several notable players could see their 2016 statuses change depending on whether or not they unlock vesting options in their current contracts.  With the opening month of the 2015 season almost in the books, let’s check in on the progress each of these players are making towards those getting those options to vest…

  • Chase Utley: The veteran second baseman has a $15MM vesting option for 2016 that becomes guaranteed if he makes 500 plate appearances.  (If he doesn’t, it becomes a team option worth between $5MM-$11MM depending on how much time Utley spends on the DL, with a $2MM buyout.)  Utley has received 81 PA while playing in 21 of the Phillies’ first 22 games, so he is well on the way to having his option vest despite a very rough start — only a .398 OPS and two homers this season, thanks to an incredibly low .102 BABIP.  There is little chance the Phils would let Utley walk for nothing this winter, especially when they could obtain something for him in a trade this summer if Utley agrees to waive his no-trade clause.
  • Jonathan Papelbon: The Phillies closer’s 2016 vesting option is one of the reasons why he hasn’t yet been traded, as other teams have been wary about acquiring a reliever with such a potentially large price tag.  Papelbon’s $13MM vests if he finishes 55 games this season, or posts a combined 100 games finished between 2014-15.  The stopper finished 52 games last year and has seven finishes thus far in 2015, putting him on pace for that guaranteed salary next year.
  • David Ortiz: If Ortiz makes at least 425 PA and passes a physical after the season, Boston’s $10MM team option on his services for 2016 will become guaranteed at $11MM (or more, depending on how many plate appearances Ortiz makes).  Ortiz has only had less than 425 PA in two of the last 14 seasons, so barring any injury setbacks for Big Papi, this one seems like a safe bet to vest.
  • Joaquin Benoit: The Padres hold an $8MM team option on Benoit for 2016, but the righty can turn that into a guaranteed option if he finishes at least 55 games this season.  Benoit’s chances are pretty remote, as he was relegated to setup man duties after San Diego acquired Craig Kimbrel.
  • Marlon Byrd: His original two-year, $16MM deal with the Phillies included an $8MM club option for 2016 that becomes guaranteed if he reaches 600 PA this season, or a total of 1100 PA over 2014-15 with at least 550 PA this season.  Byrd received 637 PA last season and he has 74 PA over 20 games with the Reds in 2015.  He should continue to get regular playing time for Cincinnati though Byrd is off to a slow start — a .441 OPS with no walks and 24 strikeouts.
  • Santiago Casilla: The Giants righty signed a three-year, $15MM deal in the 2012-13 offseason that contained a vesting option, though little is known about the option’s value or specifics.
  • Nori Aoki: The Giants’ $5.5MM club option on Aoki for 2016 will become a mutual option if Aoki reaches 550 PA.  The outfielder is hitting well and his 102 PA currently leads the league, so he’s well ahead of the pace to vest his option.
  • Jonny Gomes: The Braves outfielder can guaranteed another year on his contract (at a $3MM salary) if he makes 325 PA, and he can unlock higher salaries at the 425 PA and 500 PA plateaus.  Gomes has thus far received 47 PA over 15 games, putting him in decent shape for at least the first level of his vesting option.

We already know that Cliff Lee won’t achieve the innings totals required for his 2016 option to vest.  The Phillies southpaw is attempting to recover from a torn left flexor tendon without undergoing surgery and is currently on the 60-day DL.  Dodgers reliever Brandon League is also recovering from a right shoulder injury and thus stands virtually no chance of reaching the games-finished totals required to allow his 2016 player option to vest.

Quick Hits: Santiago, Padres, White Sox

Here are some notes on a few possible trade situations shaping up around baseball:

  • The Tigers are shopping middle infielder Ramon Santiago, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter). The 33-year-old Santiago has spent 9 of his 11 big league seasons in Detroit, but his performance fell off last year when he hit just .206/.283/.272 in 259 plate appearances for the Tigers.
  • In light of today's news that Padres third baseman Logan Forsythe suffered a setback in his attempt to recover from a foot injury, the club once again finds itself wondering who will man the hot corner for the start of the season after already losing Chase Headley. As reported by Bill Center of The San Diego Union-Tribune, manager Bud Black acknowledged that a DL stint was likely for Forsythe. GM Josh Byrnes says that it is unlikely that the team will look outside the organization for a replacement, tweets Corey Brock of Center suggests that, instead, rookie Jedd Gyorko will move over to third, with Alexi Amarista filling in at second. 
  • Meanwhile, the White Sox also have some injury concerns that they do not expect to address via trade, writes Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. However, GM Rick Hahn says that the team is "looking around outside for other upgrades." Chicago manager Robin Ventura also announced that righty Dylan Axelrod will be the team's fifth starter to begin the year, writes Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, in conjunction with the news that John Danks will begin the year on the DL.

Giants Agree To Sign Santiago Casilla

The Giants and right-hander Santiago Casilla have agreed to a three-year, $15MM contract with a vesting option for a fourth season.  The deal will pay Casilla $4.5MM in 2013 and 2014 and $5MM in 2015, plus a $1MM buyout for 2016 if his option doesn't vest.  Casilla is represtented by ACES.  Santiago_Casilla

The 32-year-old right-hander pitched to a 2.84 ERA with a 7.8 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 55 percent ground-ball rate in 63 1/3 innings for the World Champion Giants in 2012. In three seasons with the team, Casilla has a 2.22 ERA over the course of 170 1/3 innings.

Casilla took over as the team's closer when Brian Wilson went down with Tommy John surgery early in the season and led the Giants with 25 saves on the year. As a result, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected that Casilla would earn $5.4MM in his third year of arbitration eligibility. The contract buys out that final year of arbitration and gives the Giants control over two of Casilla's free agent seasons, with an option for a third.

As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, Giants general manager Brian Sabean has done his best to keep his World Series winning roster together this offseason. He's brought back Jeremy Affeldt and Marco Scutaro on three-year deals and re-signed Angel Pagan to a four-year deal. Sabean also signed Andres Torres to a one-year deal, who was a part of San Francisco's 2010 World Series team.

Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle was the first to break the news of the signing, plus the contract length and payment breakdown (all links to Twitter).  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area Twitter also added details about the move (both Twitter links).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Rumors: Posey, Pence, Casilla, Wilson

Here's the latest on the World Champion San Francisco Giants…

  • "We are open to the idea," said GM Brian Sabean when asked about a long-term contract extension for Buster Posey, though he said they were "not necessarily" open to the idea with Hunter Pence. John Shea of The San Francisco Chronicle and Andrew Baggarly of passed along the quotes (Twitter links).
  • The Giants have had conceptual talks about a multiyear deal with reliever Santiago Casilla, reports Baggarly (on Twitter). The team is not active in any trade discussions, Sabean confirmed.
  • Brian Wilson is unlikely to re-sign with the Giants if and when he gets non-tendered, hears Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).

Giants Likely To Non-Tender Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson has saved 171 games for the Giants dating back to 2006, but now, following his Tommy John surgery earlier this year, it appears likely that he'll be non-tendered, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

As Schulman notes, teams must pay arbitration-eligible players at least 80 percent of their previous salary, which would mean the minimum offer the Giants can make Wilson is $6.8MM. That's a hefty price tag for a closer coming off Tommy John, even if he was elite at his peak. The Giants would like to non-tender Wilson and re-sign him to a one-year deal with a lower base salary, but Wilson isn't as open to that scenario.

In addition to his 171 saves, Wilson has earned three All-Star bids and anchored the bullpen for the Giants' 2010 World Series victory, Over the course of 320 career innings, he's pitched to a 3.21 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. Wilson appeared in only two games this season, gutting out a save in his final appearance despite the damaged ligament in his arm.

Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla filled in admirably in Wilson's absence this season. Schulman notes, however, that Casilla himself could end up being non-tendered for salary reasons. Matt Swartz projects a $5.4MM salary for Casilla through arbitration following a solid season.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:


Players To Avoid Arbitration: Tuesday

Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them – it's a question of how much the players will earn.

Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:


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Giants Sign Santiago Casilla

The Giants signed reliever Santiago Casilla to a minor league deal, reports Baseball America's Matt EddyHe'd been released by the A's on December 10th to make room for Rule 5 pick Bobby Cassevah.

Casilla, 29, posted a 5.96 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 48.3 relief innings last year.  He was hindered by calf and knee injuries.  He dealt with a sore elbow throughout the '08 season.

Athletics Release Santiago Casilla

The Athletics released reliever Santiago Casilla today to make room for Rule 5 pick Bobby Cassevah, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Casilla would've been non-tendered on Saturday anyway.

Casilla, 29, posted a 5.96 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 in 48.3 relief innings this year.  He was hindered by calf and knee injuries.  He dealt with a sore elbow throughout the '08 season.