Orioles decline Alexi Casilla’s option

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Baltimore has declined its $3 million option on Alexi Casilla for 2014, making the infielder a free agent with a $200,000 buyout.

Casilla was claimed off waivers from the Twins in November, but played sparingly for the Orioles and hit just .214 with a .563 OPS in 64 games. He’s still just 29 years old, but Casilla has a .634 career OPS and hasn’t really played enough shortstop to be considered a true utility man.

He made $1.7 million this year, but may have to settle for a minor-league deal in 2014.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.