Alexi Casilla’s pay is getting almost doubled, as he goes from making $437,500 last year to $865,000 this year. After a couple of subpar seasons offensively, Casilla had a 105 wRC+ last year, though that was in just 170 plate appearances and this is likely just a result of a small sample. Interestingly, Casilla has been plagued by a poor BABIP over the course of his career. It sits at just .278 for his career, and I have to think that given his speed and hitting a lot of balls on the ground that this is partially due to some bad luck. If he can get some better luck there I think he might be able to have a decent offensive season, especially given that he’ll be hitting from the 8 or 9 hole. Casilla doesn’t really walk a lot, but he also doesn’t strike out much either, making his BABIP even more important to his success.
With the departures of JJ Hardy and Orlando Hudson, Casilla is going to be a starting middle infielder. UZR doesn’t really like his defense much, but I think it is underrating him a bit. His UZR is much better at SS than it is at 2B, though that is most assuredly due to samples. Bottom line with his defense is that I don’t think he’s played enough to make a definitive judgment. I would probably play him at SS, but there’s no doubt he would best be served in a utility role. If only there was an awesome fielding shortstop around that we didn’t trade to Baltimore.