Alexi Casilla got a Rolex

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Casilla.jpgAs John Shipley at the Pioneer Press notes, it’s been a bad few months for Alexi Casilla.  I believe that the technical term for his performance at the plate in 2009 is “butt.”  Then the Twins signed Jim Thome, who took his uniform number. Then they signed Orlando Hudson who took his job. But at least he was compensated for the number thing:

First Orlando Hudson took his job, then Jim Thome took his number. At least Thome gave him a Rolex. “A very nice watch,” Alexi Casilla assures us . . .

. . . When Thome, a likely hall of famer with 564 career
home runs, was acquired this winter, Casilla surrendered his No. 25 to
the former Twins nemesis — happily, he said. Now Casilla wears No. 12,
the number he wore as he helped lead his team to the Dominican finals
this winter.

Given where Casila is these days — it’s not inconceivable that he’ll be cut loose by the Twins — you wonder if Thome should have saved his money and just waited things out.

Still, I love the whole shadow economy of uniform numbers.  A couple of years ago Morgan Ensberg was turned down when he offered Wilson Betemit $5,000 for number 14 on the Yankees.  Giants’ punter Jeff Feagles was the Warren Buffett of this biz, once demanding — and receiving — an outdoor kitchen in his vacation home in Phoenix in exchange for giving up his number 17 to Plaxico Burress. Before that he got a family vacation to Florida from Eli Manning for giving up number 10.

If I was on the Red Sox I’d jump on number 23 now in anticipation of that big Adrian Gonzalez windfall.  Joey Gathright and Adam LaRoche shared it last year, so I think it’s available.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

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Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.

The Dodgers are concerned about Julio Urias’ shoulder

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Things are going great for the Dodgers lately. They’ve won seven consecutive games and 13 of their last 14. They lead the National League in wins and are in first place in, arguably, the best division in baseball.

But there are a lot of moving parts on a baseball team, and even when some things are going great, other things can go not-so-great. Like this:

Urias has been diagnosed with shoulder inflammation and shut down indefinitely. An MRI last week showed no structural damage, but his shoulder is still bothering him. He has not pitched in the bigs since late May, when he allowed seven runs in less than three innings against the Miami Marlins. He was sent down after that and went 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA, six walks and 17 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched in three starts with Oklahoma City before being shelved.