Friday, November 2, 2012

Orioles Claim Infielder Alexi Casilla off Waivers from the Twins

This card isn't in my collection, yet at least, but I "borrowed" it from COMC. It's an affordable, on-card auto and would fill a potential hole in my collection if I can't get Alexi's autograph at FanFest or Spring Training.

The Orioles made their first move this afternoon to bring in a player from outside the organization when they claimed infielder Alexi Casilla off of waivers from the Twins. He has played parts of the past seven seasons in Minnesota, mainly at second base, which is a position that the Orioles are non-coincidentally trying to fill.

Brian Roberts, Robert Andino, and Ryan Flaherty all remain in the fold for now, but Roberts has faced myriad injury issues in recent seasons, Andino profiles best into a super-utility role or could be non-tendered, and Flaherty is no longer hampered by his Rule 5 status and can be sent to the minors. And with Casilla owed $1.8 million for next season, I would say that it's logical the O's are going to give him a fair shot at the 2B job in spring training.

Alexi doesn't have much power to speak of, having hit just eleven in over 1,700 plate appearances (and seven of them were hit in 2008), but he does flash some speed, having stolen 71 bases while only being caught nine times in his career.

He also interestingly has connections with two former Orioles who played in Baltimore during the 2012 season. After originally signing with the Angels in 2003, he was traded to the Twins in December 2009 for relief pitcher J.C. Romero. And then when the Twins signed Jim Thome prior to the 2010 season, since Alexi had been wearing Big Jim's preferred #25 jersey, he changed his jersey number to 12 to accommodate the future Hall of Fame slugger.

Welcome to Baltimore, Alexi! I hope that things work out for you here.

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