Giants agree to three-year deal with righty Casilla
By Chris Haft / 12/18/12 12:20 AM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- Remaining intent on keeping the core of their pitching staff, the Giants announced Monday night that right-hander Santiago Casilla had agreed to a three-year contract, pending a physical examination.
Club management would not comment on the deal until Casilla, 32, takes his physical on Tuesday.
Since Casilla was entering his final year of salary-arbitration eligibility, the Giants essentially bought out two years of his free agency. The agreement was worth $15 million, according to multiple news outlets, and included a club/vesting option for 2016.
Casilla, who earned $2.2 million in 2012, will join the sizable contingent of Giants pitchers signed to multiyear contracts, assuming he passes his physical. Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Jeremy Affeldt are on longterm deals; the club holds options for 2014 on Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong; and Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez are in the final year of two-year pacts. Recognizing the importance of pitching to the Giants' success, general manager Brian Sabean has sought to retain the club's key pitchers.
Casilla led the reigning World Series champions with 73 appearances and 25 saves in 2012. He was San Francisco's initial replacement for closer Brian Wilson when Tommy John elbow surgery sidelined the three-time National League All-Star in April. Casilla converted 19 of his first 20 save opportunities, but he lost the closer's role after blowing five of nine save chances between June 24 and July 21.
Casilla managed to contribute in a setup role, blanking opponents in 19 of his final 23 games before finishing 7-6 with a 2.84 ERA. He excelled in the postseason, surrendering one earned run in seven innings spanning 11 outings. He was the winning pitcher in the Game 4 World Series clincher at Detroit, recording one out to preserve a 3-3 tie and force extra innings. In three years with the Giants, Casilla is 16-10 with a 2.22 ERA and 33 saves in 174 relief outings.