When the Giants and right-hander Santiago Casilla agreed to a three-year, $15MM extension with a vesting/club option in the 2012-13 offseason, reports indicated that Casilla’s option would vest based on a certain number of innings pitched or appearances. However, details surrounding the specific parameters of the option remained unclear. MLBTR has learned the specifics of Casilla’s vesting option.
The 2016 option was structured such that it could vest at three different levels: $6.5MM, $7.5MM or $8.5MM. Of those three, the $6.5MM figure is the only reasonably possible scenario at this point, and it, in fact, seems fairly likely. Casilla’s option will vest at $6.5MM if he finishes 55 games in the 2015 season. It would have vested at $7.5MM had he finished 100 games from 2014-15, with 55 or more of those games finished coming this year. The $8.5MM figure would have vested had Casilla finished 150 games over his contract’s three-year term, with 55 or more coming in the 2015 season.
As things currently stand, Casilla has pitched well as the Giants’ primary closer in 2015. He’s finished 32 games on the year (accumulating 23 saves), meaning that he’ll need just 23 more games finished to lock in the fourth year of his contract and boost the total value of the deal from $15MM to $20.5MM. (He was already guaranteed $1MM of that figure via buyout, so the vesting option will increase his guarantee by $5.5MM instead of $6.5MM.)
The 34-year-old Casilla has worked to a 3.34 ERA in 32 1/3 innings, averaging 9.2 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 with a 45.1 percent ground-ball rate. Casilla will turn 35 in 12 days, and his 93 mph average fastball is the slowest of his career, so there are reasons to worry about some level of decline. But, he’s consistently delivered very strong bottom-line results throughout his San Francisco tenure, and the $6.5MM salary he figures to eventually secure for the 2016 season is hardly prohibitive to a team with the Giants’ payroll capabilities.
Last night’s midseason update on vesting options from around the league, authored by MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk, has been updated to reflect the details of Casilla’s contract.