May 24, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Baltimore Orioles Alexi Casilla (12) cannot throw out Toronto Blue Jays Munenori Kawasaki (not pictured) in the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. The Orioles beat the Blue Jays 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles Second Base - Alexi Casilla Re-Signed


Alexi Casilla has re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. The Birds had previously declined their option on Casilla, the utility infielder who has a career average of .248 (mostly with the Twins). That option was for $3,000,000 after paying him $1,700,000 in 2013.

Casilla only batted .214 for the Orioles last year, though he played outstanding defense. The switch-hitter seemed to be lost on the bench for extended periods, and one could rightly imagine that his numbers would have been much better with the rhythms of playing regularly. But such is not likely the role for Alexi – not with the Orioles or anyone else for that matter.

This signing provides more depth at second base where Ryan Flaherty is the presumed starter, along with the contending of new acquisition Jemile Weeks. There is also the scenario of Manny Machado not be ready from day one, and thereby Flaherty might cover at third with Weeks and/or Casilla at second base and utility infielder.

Of these options, Flaherty has the most power in his bat, whereas Weeks represents, in my opinion at least, the most upside athletic potential. And though Jonathan Schoop is the presumed heir to the position, there is little chance he will be ready this year.

Here are some comparative stats – Casilla and Flaherty from the most recent season, and Weeks from his two most recent MLB seasons in 2011 and 2012 (he played mostly at AAA in 2013).

Year

Age

Tm

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

CS

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

13-Casilla

28

BAL

62

112

15

24

4

1

1

10

9

2

9

20

.214

.268

.295

.563

13-Flaherty

26

BAL

85

246

28

55

11

0

10

27

2

0

19

62

.224

.293

.390

.683

11-Weeks

24

OAK

97

406

50

112

26

8

2

36

22

11

21

62

.303

.340

.421

.761

12-Weeks

25

OAK

118

444

54

98

15

8

 2

20

16

5

50

70

.221

.305

.304

.609

 

Other news and thoughts…

The Masahiro Tanaka craziness is underway with him coming to the states and apparently saying that he is most interested in pitching in LA, NY or Boston. This is news? Really?  I actually throw it in here because as the Orioles (or at least the fans) hope to gain some additional pitching help, nothing is going to happen with someone like Bronson Arroyo until this Tanaka stuff is settled. Agents will surely hold out with their guys, hoping for a good deal from teams that have some money not now committed on this cosmic level.

An example of a team needing short-term pitching help might include other news from yesterday, namely that Derek Holland of the Rangers might be out for perhaps the first half of the season. A freak accident of a fall in his home resulted in some corrective knee surgery. Though the conversation surrounding that detailed only internal names, one could imagine the Rangers looking outside for help.

Also from yesterday was the Yankees’ announcement of clearing roster space by DFA-ing Vernon Wells. Geez – I remember Vernon Wells playing center field for the Low-A level Hagerstown Suns. At that time he and the Suns were affiliated with the Blue Jays. Time flies past even better than a high fly to right field in Yankee Stadium.

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Tags: Alexi Casilla Baltimore Orioles