The Oakland A’s have signed relief pitcher Santiago Casilla to a two-year, $11 million contract, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. There are also $3 million in possible incentives. The rumor was first reported by Robert Murray of FanRag Sports
It’s not a surprise to see the A’s adding a reliever. As recently as a week ago, they were reportedly in the market for bullpen help. Their current group includes: Madson, Doolittle, Dull, Hendriks, and Axford (among others who have less experience and more minor league options).
Casilla spent his first six MLB seasons with the A’s, beginning in 2004 when he was known by the pseudonym Jairo Garcia. Since then, the right-hander spent the subsequent seven years across town with the Giants, where he ... won ... nope don’t want to talk about it. It went well for him.
The 36-year-old was a mixed bag last season, though. His 10.1 K/9 was a career-high, as was his 3.52 K/BB. However, his 3.57 ERA was his highest since 2009, his eight homers allowed were a career-high, and so were his nine blown saves (31 saves, 3 holds, 9 blown; 79% success, bad). He was so unreliable that he lost the closer job in September as part of the Giants overall bullpen meltdown, which made me mostly happy until right this moment when I found out he was joining my team. Oh life, you bastard.
Still, though, you can never have too much pitching. Another arm doesn’t hurt, especially one with late-inning experience. If the A’s were going to sign a former Giants reliever, I’d have preferred Sergio Romo. If they were going to bring back a former A’s reliever, I’d have preferred Jerry Blevins. But as long as Casilla mostly stays out of the 8th and 9th innings, he could be fine.
Casilla’s numbers from his last seven seasons in San Francisco. He made at least 49 appearances and threw at least 50 innings in each of these seasons, including three with sub-2.00 ERAs:
Casilla, S.F. 2010-16: 414 games, 2.42 ERA, 394⅔ ip, 366 Ks, 155 BB, 30 HR, 3.56 FIP, (late innings: 123 saves, 64 holds, 28 blown, 87.0%, pretty good)