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Orioles sign Casilla to Minor League contract

Veteran brought back to provide infield depth and speed on the basepaths

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have signed Alexi Casilla to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, the team announced on Friday night.

Casilla's $3 million option for 2014 was declined earlier this winter by Baltimore, but the club still had a need for infield depth because Manny Machado is coming off season-ending knee surgery and Brian Roberts signed with the Yankees.

"Lex has good infield and basestealing skills and fits with [the] Orioles culture of good team defense," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.

Primarily a bench player last season, Casilla adds speed and versatility and can play second base, shortstop and third. The 29-year-old veteran batted .214 in 62 games for the O's in 2013 and is expected to compete for the utility infield spot.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for

Baltimore Orioles, Alexi Casilla