Cincinnati may not be the favorites, but the latest Reds rumors involving Nicholas Castellanos suggest the outfielder still in play.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Cincinnati Reds may not be the leading candidates to land Nicholas Castellanos, but they’re still in the mix. With the Reds rumors surrounding Shogo Akiyama intensifying, it’s interesting that Cincinnati is still in the mix for Castellanos.
Morosi is reporting that the Texas Rangers are, in fact, the leader in the clubhouse in terms of acquiring Castellanos. The league-leader in doubles last season, Castellanos has also drawn the attention of the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs traded for Castellanos at the deadline last season after the right fielder had played the previous seven years in Detroit.
Castellanos racked up 58 doubles last season, along with 27 home runs and 73 RBIs. Castellanos kicked it into high gear once he joined the Cubs. In 51 games with Chicago, Castellanos slashed .321/.356/.646. His OPS with Detroit was just .790, but he exploded with a 1.002 OPS after his trade to the North Side.
The Texas Rangers, moving into a new ballpark, have been looking to make a big splash this offseason, but missed out on Anthony Rendon. The Rangers have, however, made improvements to their pitching staff with the addition of Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson, and Jordan Lyles.
Like the Rangers, the Reds are looking to make a splash with a big bat. Cincinnati already added Mike Moustakas, but struck out on the likes of Didi Gregorius and Corey Dickerson, who just signed a two-year deal with the Miami Marlins.
Defense has been a big question mark for Castellanos. That being said, since switching from third base to right field, Castellanos has seen improvements. According to FanGraphs, Castellanos, who put up -19 defensive runs scored (DRS) in 2018, saw that number drop to -9 DRS in 2019. While that’s not elite-level defense, last season was just his second playing the corner outfield spot.
With Dickerson now off the market, the free agent pool is growing thinner. Marcell Ozuna, Yasiel Puig, Shogo Akiyama, and Nicholas Castellanos are the high-profile names remaining. We’ve several Reds rumors surrounding each of the four, but no one has signed as of yet. Hopefully that changes very soon.