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Twins avoid arbitration with Casilla via one-year, $865K deal

Jan 16, 2011, 2:52 PM EDT

Alexi Casilla

From SI.com’s Jon Heyman comes word that the Twins have reached agreement on a one-year, $865,000 contract with infielder Alexi Casilla, avoiding the need for an arbitration hearing.

The 26-year-old was eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this winter after racking up enough service time in 2010.

He sat idle for the first two months last year because of an elbow issue then hit .276/.331/.395  with one home run and 20 RBI in 152 at-bats once he regained his health.

Casilla has served mostly as a utility infielder for Minnesota since first breaking into the league back in 2006.  With J.J. Hardy out of the picture, the Twins are going to ask him to start at shortstop in 2011.  Tsuyoshi Nishioka, a new acquisition out of Japan, will start at second base.

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