In a busy day that has seen Mallex Smith travel across the country and back, the cherry on top for the day involves the Oakland Athletics adding valuable bullpen help in Santiago Casilla, as Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the team and the ex-San Francisco Giants closer are close to a two-year deal worth an undisclosed amount of money.
Casilla originally broke into the majors with the Athletics back in 2004, but only appeared in 9 games between 2004 and 2006. Between 2007 and 2009, Casilla produced subpar results, but managed to sign a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants before the 2010 season that eventually saw Casilla skyrocket into the Giants closer role.
In 2016, Casilla struggled out of the gate and never rebounded, eventually leading to an open-door committee for the closer role. Casilla's 2-5 record and his 3.57 ERA were his worst marks since the 2009 season, but he still managed to acquire 31 saves in 62 appearances and struck out 65 batters in 58 innings of work.
It is unclear where Casilla would slip in with the Athletics, but one would assume that Casilla will battle for the closer role with Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle. However, he could also slip in as a setup man to either Madson or Doolittle.