Nick Castellanos’ free agency is going to be one of the stories of the offseason. He’s coming off the best season of his career and multiple outfield-needy teams will make a run at him. However, not many contenders could actually afford to sign him.
Castellanos hit for .309/.362/.576 with an OPS+ of 136. He had 73 extra-base hits (34 home runs, 38 doubles, 1 triple), scored 95 runs, and drove in 100 across 138 games played. No wonder he’ll demand a huge paycheck from his next team.
Nick Castellanos free agency 2021-22
The 29-year-old just won the first Silver Slugger Award of his career and is just reaching his prime. Then again, he might as well have to choose between playing for a true contender or getting paid what he deserves in free agency. With that in mind let’s take a look at the four most likely destinations for him.
Nick Castellanos has already outgrown the Cincinnati Reds and chances are that they won’t be a true contender for quite some time. Then again, he’s always been fond of the organization. Also, he recently claimed that he would entertain the thought of coming back to the team.
“Of course I would,” Castellanos said, as per Red Leg Nation. “Why wouldn’t I? I feel like there’s still a lot of valuable pieces that are very good to win with. Jonathan India, Jesse Winker is coming into his own – figuring out who he is, figuring out what kind of father he wants to be, he’s doing a great job at that. Joey Votto just reinvented himself. We still have pitching. We have pieces. Why wouldn’t I entertain it?”
3. White Sox
The Chicago White Sox have desperately craved for a right fielder for years. They were in the hunt for Castellanos two years ago after signing Dallas Keuchel but they couldn’t agree on terms. Well, it could be better late than ever, as they’re reportedly still interested in him. From a baseball standpoint, this could be the best among Castellanos’ free agent fits.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) November 12, 2021
The White Sox struggled all year at right field with Adam Eaton playing poorly before being released. Nonetheless, they currently have one of the highest payrolls in all of baseball, so they’ll have to move some assets to try and make a run for the Florida native.
The San Diego Padres don’t have a lot of cash to spare but most MLB offseason predictions state that they’ll move Will Myers and/or Eric Hosmer to clear up some space. They want to make a big push after a disappointing season and adding Nick Castellanos would help them compete with the Dodgers and Giants.
The Padres will have Dinelson Lamet, Mike Clevinger, and Ryan Weathers back from injury next season and have the most entertaining player in the league in Fernando Tatis Jr. Among all of Castellanos’ free agent fits, this could be the one that gives him the biggest chance to win a ring.
The New York Mets have a decision to make regarding Michael Conforto. But even if they resign him, rumors say that the universal Designated Hitter rule will prevail for next season, meaning that they could still have some room for Nick Castellanos on their roster.
Steve Cohen is reportedly going to be quite aggressive in his pursuit of top-tier talents to lead the Queens’ team after years of struggles.
They’ll have Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom back on the mound and are likely to re-sign Javier Báez as well, and adding an MVP-caliber player such as Castellanos would make them an instant contender out of the National League.