Dodgers 2014 Off-Season Free Agent Profile: Alexi Casilla
The Los Angeles Dodgers are nearing a complete roster for the 2014 season, but still have a few holes that could be filled. We continue to take a look at players that could fill those voids next season.
Today, we take a look at a middle infielder that can come off the bench and provide a defensive upgrade:
Casilla is a 29-year-old infielder that spent 2013 with the Baltimore Orioles. In his career, he’s hit .248 with 80 stolen bases in eight seasons.
Last year, Casilla played in 62 games for the Orioles, mostly at second base and ended with a .214 batting average and nine stolen bases. He didn’t make an error in the field in 299.2 innings.
The 29-year-old has been a solid defensive player, capped by his error-free 2013 season. The majority of his career has been at second base, where he’s been worth plus-two Defensive Runs Saved in his eight seasons. Casilla has been a solid defender at the other two positions and would be able to fill in admirably, if needed.
Along with his versatility, Casilla has above average speed that adds to his value because he can be used as a pinch-runner late in games. He’s stolen as many as 21 bases in a season before and has been caught just 11 times in his career. A smart base runner that can take a base would be huge for manager Don Mattingly late in games.
As with most utility players, the middle infielder from the Dominican Republic isn’t much of a hitter. He’s hit as high as .281 in his career, but that was in 2008. Casilla wouldn’t need to provide a strong bat but he wouldn’t be effective as a pinch-hitter in close games. The 29-year-old would be used more for speed and defense, rather than his bat.
Casilla made $1.7 million last season and will likely get a deal in that range. He could get a multi-year deal but after a tough season at the plate in 2013, teams may be reluctant to give out more than one year. The 29-year-old will get one or two years in the $1-2 million range.
Chances Dodgers Sign Him: 29%
The Dodgers need a utility infielder and Casilla is one of the better options left on the market. The two sides haven’t been linked but the team may decide to contact Casilla in the coming month.
Look for the Dodgers to grab a utility player and it wouldn’t be surprising if they choose Casilla.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and reliever Chris Perez agreed to a one-year deal earlier this week