Alexi Casilla and the Twins won’t be going through with an arbitration hearing, instead agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1,382,500.
Casilla filed for $1.75 million and the Twins countered at $1.065 million, so the two sides settled at $25,000 below the midpoint.
Casilla, who hit .260 with two homers and a .691 OPS in 97 games last year and has never played even 100 games in a season, will be the Twins’ starting second baseman and is under team control for 2013 as well.
This figures to be a make-or-break season for Casilla, because the 27-year-old’s usual production seemingly wouldn’t warrant keeping him around through another sizable raise in 2013, let alone signing him to a multi-year extension.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.