At the beginning of the offseason it became clear that the San Francisco Giants were going to be moving on from their former closer, Santiago Casilla. Giants fans don't boo their own terribly often (what is this, Oakland?), but after a slew of rough late inning struggles, the fans did let their frustrations with Casilla be known. While Casilla wasn't the only one to blame for the team's late inning woes, and ultimately a wild card berth instead of potentially an NL West title last season, the focus was definitely on Casilla moreso than the rest of the relief options.
The Giants signed one of the big three closers on the market last month in Mark Melancon, which sealed the deal that Casilla would not be returning. On Wednesday, reports surfaced that the former Giant had agreed to a two-year deal with the A's for $11M plus $3M in incentives. He may not have always been the best closer and has caused some heartache at times, but we wish Santiago the best on the next phase in his career (even if it is with the A's).
In other Giants related news, former starter Ryan Vogelsong, who spent last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, has reportedly come to a minor league agreement with the Minnesota Twins. Vogelsong missed some time in 2016 after taking a liner off of his head, but when he was on the mound, the 39-year-old went 3-7 with a 4.81 ERA (5.00 FIP). The Twins rotation as a group put up a 5.39 ERA in 2016, which was the worst in baseball, so it looks like he may have a legitimate shot at cracking that rotation while some of their young guns (particularly Jose Berrios) develop. http://www.scout.com/mlb/giants/story/1741051-job-openings-at-giants-farm
In the last piece of Giants news for the day, the team avoided arbitration with Conor Gillaspie, signing the infielder for $1.4M. After his heroics in the playoffs last season, he may work his way into some extra playing time around the diamond when Eduardo Nunez or Brandon Crawford needs a day off, but he will more than likely be seen as a utility option for the team. Along with Ehire Adrianza and Kelby Tomlinson, the Giants have a few different players that could become significant role players on the 2017 club, further instilling the idea that versatility in today's game is a big bonus for any club.
It is also interesting that all three players mentioned here (Casilla, Vogelsong and Gillaspie) have at some point returned to the club that they made their big league debuts with. For Vogelsong, this will be the first time that he will not be playing for either San Francisco or Pittsburgh in his 13 year career, assuming he makes it to Minnesota at some point.null