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In the next couple of days, the Alexi Casilla arbitration situation will be over. Arbitration hearings are to be complete by February 15th. The sides are not to discuss when a hearing is scheduled, so we don’t know when the Twins and Casilla would have a hearing in front of an arbiter. Of course, it is also possible that the two sides will come to an agreement before going to arbitration.
This is Casilla’s second year of arbitration. Last year, he signed before a hearing and played the 2011 season making $865,000. 2011 was a strange season for Casilla. He began the season as the Twins starting shortstop. In April, he hit .167/.227/.200 in 22 games. Trevor Plouffe was called up and got almost a dozen games at shortstop. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who was rehabbing his broken leg, was being moved to shortstop. Casilla was really bad. However, once you get past April, Casilla had a very solid season. Check out his monthly splits:
- April – .167/.227/.200
- May – .288/.351/.424
- June – .274/.349/.400
- July – .283/.333/.404
- Season – .260/.322/.368 in 97 games.
Unfortunately, he played just one game in August and September combined due to an injury. If you recall, he came back for one game and was immediately placed on the disabled list again afterward.
Casilla’s 97 games played in 2011 was on less than his career-high of 98 games played as a 23 year old in 2008. He will go into the 2012 season as the Twins starting second baseman, but frankly, many question if he isn’t best as a utility middle infielder.
Casilla and his representation is asking for $1.75 million. The Twins offer was $1.065 million. The midpoint is $1.407 million. Here are some comparables:
- Robert Andino (Orioles) – Settled for $1.3 million
- Mike Aviles (Red Sox) – Settled for $1.2 million
- Jeff Baker (Cubs) – Settled for $1.375 million
- Emilio Bonifacio (Marlins) – WON at $2.2 million
- Mike Fontenot (Giants) – Settled at $1.05 million
- Chris Getz (Royals) – Settled for $968,000
- Jed Lowrie (Astros) – Settled for $1.15 million
After reviewing this list and doing some comparison, I don’t think that Casilla is wrong in asking for $1.7 million. I personally think that the midpoint of $1.407 million seems fair. Obviously the Twins biggest case is that he hasn’t ever played in 100 games, so I don’t blame them for coming in low.
My guess: Right before it would go to an arbitration hearing, they’ll agree to a one year, $1.4 million salary. I think that if it does go to arbitration, Casilla would likely win.
Did You Know?
It was on this day (February 11) in 1974 that this whole arbitration system was established? According to JJ Swol of Twins Trivia, 48 players invoked their new arbitration rights including Twins pitcher Dick Woodson. Woodson was seeking $30,000 and the Twins were offering $23,000. My how things have changed in nearly 40 years. Woodson won, by the way.
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