Detroit Tigers Acquire Alexi Casilla for Player to be Named Later in Minor Trade


The Detroit Tigers made a minor trade on Monday afternoon, acquiring Alexi Casilla from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later. This comes according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press:

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Casilla has spent the entire 2014 season in the minor leagues with the Rays, but he’s been hitting the ball well, hitting .315/.379/.449 in 142 plate appearances. While that minor league line is nice, it’s probably not likely to stay if the Detroit Tigers decide to add him to the major league roster. In his nine-year big league career the soon-to-be 31-year-old switch hitter has hit just .247/.302/.331.

Casilla has made multiple big league appearances at second base, third base, and shortstop, with the bulk of his playing time coming at second base. Fenech follows up to confirm that the move is being made to bolster system depth, not aid the major league club.

The Tigers traded Eugenio Suarez and Devon Travis in the offseason and then lost Hernan Perez to waivers earlier this season, so they had depleted themselves of high-minors emergency options in the infield. They would also risk losing Josh Wilson from their system if they were to designate him for assignment to free up a spot on the 25-man roster.

It’s not that losing players like Perez and Wilson are particularly damaging, but it’s nice to have reasonable options available in AAA in case they’re needed for a short stretch due to injury or the like.

It’s not clear who the Tigers will have to send to Tampa Bay to complete the deal, but it’s probably a non-prospect or organizational depth type player. Often a team like the Tigers will set up a short list of these fringe players and give the Rays a few weeks or months to scout the players and select one. Major league rules gives the teams six months to name the player and finalize the trade.

A report out of Tampa has the Tigers sending cash to complete the deal rather than a player to be named later, but either way, it’s confirmation that the Tigers aren’t giving up a whole lot to add Casilla into the mix.

Next: Trade Rumor: Tigers Looking at Samardzija and Buchholz

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