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Casilla DFA'd after 15 years in Bay Area

A's make tough decision on veteran reliever, who also played for Giants
MLB.com @JaneMLB

SAN FRANCISCO -- Veteran reliever Santiago Casilla, who has spent the entirety of his 15-year career in the Bay Area, was designated for assignment ahead of the A's second meeting with the Giants on Saturday.

A three-time World Series winner with the Giants, the 37-year-old Casilla was enjoying his second tour with the A's, who originally signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2000 under the name Jairo Garcia. His playing time, however, was gradually diminishing in Oakland, and he subsequently endured command issues, walking 20 in 31 1/3 innings while posting a 3.16 ERA.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Veteran reliever Santiago Casilla, who has spent the entirety of his 15-year career in the Bay Area, was designated for assignment ahead of the A's second meeting with the Giants on Saturday.

A three-time World Series winner with the Giants, the 37-year-old Casilla was enjoying his second tour with the A's, who originally signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2000 under the name Jairo Garcia. His playing time, however, was gradually diminishing in Oakland, and he subsequently endured command issues, walking 20 in 31 1/3 innings while posting a 3.16 ERA.

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"It just got to a point where he needs regular work and wasn't able to get regular work with us, and it kind of affected the performance some," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We think the world of him. He's a great guy.

"Guys over there will probably feel it today, too. This guy is a true Bay Area hero, a three-time World Champion and was a big personality in our clubhouse, too. So it was difficult on that front. We do have some younger guys we feel like we need to get to the big leagues, so hopefully he catches on somewhere else where he can get some regular work and perform in the fashion that he expects to."

Casilla is still owed a large chunk of the $6 million he's guaranteed this year.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that, as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

"Santiago did a great job for us," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He helped us win some World Series, something I'll never forget. He's such a class guy. I'm sure it wasn't easy for the A's to let him go. I have nothing but great memories of the time that I spent with him. I appreciate all he did here."

Casilla was among several moving parts Saturday. The A's promoted right-hander J.B. Wendelken from Triple-A Nashville, marking the second bullpen addition in two days; on Friday, lefty Jeremy Bleich made his big league debut.

Infielder Franklin Barreto was also called up, while right-hander Ryan Dull was demoted. In addition, right-hander Daniel Mengden was reinstated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A.

Wendelken appeared in eight games for Oakland in 2016 before succumbing to Tommy John surgery, embarking on a lengthy rehab process that ended just months ago. He's since compiled a 3.49 ERA in 17 outings for Nashville.

"It's been a long time," Wendelken said. "I'd say I was more shocked this time than I was the first time, when I got to make my debut. Getting called up is obviously the ultimate goal, but this time I had more to fight for. I felt like I had something to prove, and I wanted to prove it."

Worth noting

• A's second baseman Jed Lowrie was out of Saturday's starting lineup after sustaining a left leg contusion during a collision on the field in Friday's series opener, but he entered the game in the ninth inning and struck out.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Franklin Barreto, Santiago Casilla, Ryan Dull, Daniel Mengden, J.B. Wendelken