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Murray: Athletics close to signing Santiago Casilla

03 July 2016: San Francisco Giants pitcher Santiago Casilla (46) [3804] throws in the eleventh inning during the Major League Baseball game between the Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 5-4 in 11 innings. (Photo by Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire)
Carlos Herrera/Icon Sportswire

A source close to the situation has informed FanRag Sports that the Oakland Athletics are close to signing free agent relief pitcher Santiago Casilla to a two-year contract. The veteran right-hander is actually looking to return to Oakland as he has spent his entire big league career in California’s Bay Area.

The 36-year-old originally broke into the majors as a member of the Athletics back in 2004. However, he would only remain a staple of the club’s bullpen in what would become the final three years of his first stint in Oakland from 2007 through 2009.

From 2004 through 2006, Casilla only made a combined nine relief appearances as a member of the Athletics.

Managing to remain in the Bay Area despite transitioning over to the National League, he joined the San Francisco Giants in 2010 and remained with the club through the 2016 campaign. Unlike his previous stint in Oakland, Casilla immediately became a large part of the San Francisco bullpen and ultimately became the Giants’ closer.

It is worth noting that Casilla can also serve as a reliable setup man as he owns 90 career holds to go along with his 127 career saves. He also owns just 32 blown saves as a big league hurler, but nine of them came last season.

As a result of what would become his last go-round as a member of the Giants, Casilla made 62 regular season appearances in 2016. While amassing a 3.57 ERA across an even 58 innings of work, he also compiled a 2-5 record, 31 saves, three holds, nine blown saves and 65 strikeouts against 19 walks.

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