Santiago Casilla would be a cheaper alternative to Brad ZieglerFormer Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox closer Brad Ziegler has been the talk of the MLB hot stove with Jansen, Chapman, and Melancon all having been signed. The 37-year-old will surely get paid well after a 2.25 ERA, 22 save 2016 season, but there’s a much more fiscally friendly ex-closer available as well – Santiago Casilla.
The long-time Giants’ ninth-inning man has accumulated 127 saves during his career, showing Mariano Rivera-esque nerves in each of the three World Series wins he took a part in.
A 2.42 ERA, paired with 366 strikeouts in 394.2 innings during his last seven seasons, makes him an example of a rare phenomenon – a consistent reliever.
At 35-years-old, Casilla had a ‘down’ year in 2016, garnering 31 saves on a 3.57 ERA, while striking out over a batter an inning.
So even though his velocity has slightly diminished, and he isn’t a top flight closer anymore, the Mets wouldn’t need him to be. He would just be there to shore things up while Familia’s out, moving to a seventh inning role upon his return – creating a big three in Familia-Reed-Casilla that would surely do well when combined with the Mets’ phenomenal starting rotation.
Casilla would also likely be willing to sign a one-year deal, as his age may preclude him from signing for any longer – music to Sandy’s ears.