After the news that the Colorado Rockies traded for reliever Seunghwan Oh from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Colorado Rockies also made a move to potentially bolster their bullpen for the stretch run and postseason in signing reliever Santiago Casilla to a minor league contract.
According to Robert Murray of The Athletic, the Rockies have come to terms on a minor league pact with veteran right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla.
Assuming this is true and the deal doesn’t fall apart, the Rockies would have signed a seasoned veteran to a minor league deal after having a pretty good season. Nonetheless though, he was designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics. The A’s will have to pay the remainder of his contract for the season (about $2 million) and if Casilla makes it to the major leagues with the Rockies, he would only have to be paid the pro-rated league minimum salary for the league (which is around $200,000).
Casilla, who just turned 38 years old yesterday, did not have a decision in 26 appearances for the A’s this season with an ERA of 3.16 with one save. His ERA+ was very good (129) and a FIP of 4.05. His main problem this year was walks as he is walking nearly six batters per nine innings compared to 3.7 walks per nine innings in his previous 11 seasons in the majors.
He also has extensive postseason experience too as he has pitched in 25 postseason games for the Giants in his tenure there, which included three World Series rings, and his ERA in those games is a phenomenal 0.92. Even more stunning, he has not allowed an earned run in any of the last 20 appearances as he allowed an earned run in Game 4 of the 2010 NLCS and one earned run in Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS.
In the last 20 postseason games, he has 14 innings of work, only 9 hits allowed, 4 walks allowed, 12 strikeouts, 4 saves, and an opponent slash of .176/.250/.176.
For the signing, I think that it is a case of low risk, high reward as they would not owe Casilla much if he makes it to the majors and he could provide them with some much needed depth as the stretch run starts.
In addition, with his postseason experience, he could provide the Rockies with some insurance in the back of the ‘pen if they do make it to the playoffs.