The Baltimore Orioles have a lot of decisions to make this offseason in arbitration eligible players, free agents and holes in the team, but Executive VP/GM Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter have to decide on the future of Alexi Casilla with the team.
Casilla, who has a $3 million team option for 2014, was picked up off waivers from the Minnesota Twins in November of 2012, and is an interesting player for the Orioles. He can play both middle infield positions, and can come off the bench and steal a base for you. Even more interesting is his track record against certain high profile pitchers such as Justin Masterson and CC Sabathia, and not to mention he is a switch hitter and may be the best bunter on the team.
But the question posed this offseason is whether or not the team should pick up his $3 million team option. If the Orioles were to elect not to pick up the option, it would only cost them $200,000 to buy out the deal.
Casilla played in 62 games for the Orioles this season hitting .214 (125 plate appearances) with one home run (off Masterson), 10 RBI, and nine stolen bases with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 170 chances.
Not jump off the page numbers by any stretch of the imagination, especially when you compare them to essentially the same type of player for the Orioles in Ryan Flaherty who hit .224 (271 plate appearances) with 10 home runs, 27 RBI, and two stolen bases with a .994 fielding percentage committing just two errors in 333 chances.
To us at least, this seems like an easy decision for the Orioles. There is very little reason to pick up the $3 million option that Casilla has for 2014 because his numbers are easily replaceable and Ryan Flaherty can not only play both middle infield positions, but can play the corner infield positions as well as the corner outfield spots in a pinch.
It is no secret that Showalter is not the biggest proponent of stealing bases, which seems to be the biggest aspect of Casilla's game that he helps this team on. We will say that if Baltimore plans on starting Flaherty out in AAA in order to get him consistent at bats, then Casilla would be a little more valuable to this team, but even then there would be options out there to fill his role for much less money.
We know this team likes to save money whenever possible and not picking up Casilla's option seems like an easy way to do that with a player that is fairly easily replaceable.
What do you think? Should the Orioles pick up Casilla's option? Let your voice be heard by posting a comment!
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