Reds rumors: Cincinnati Reds remain in the mix for Nicholas Castellanos

The latest Reds rumors will certainly make fans happy. Apparently the Cincinnati Reds are still in the mix for free agent Nicholas Castellanos.

If the latest Reds rumors are true, Dick Williams and Nick Krall may have an ace up their sleeves as the offseason begins to wind down. With just a few weeks until the Cincinnati Reds report to Goodyear, it appears that the front office is swinging for the fences. Free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos is still piquing the interest of the Reds.

According to Jon Heyman, an insider at MLB Network, the Reds remain in the mix for Nicholas Castellanos. The other team mentioned by Heyman in his report are the Texas Rangers, who’ve been closely linked to the right-handed slugger throughout the winter. After Marcell Ozuna signed with Atlanta a few days ago, it sounds as though Cincinnati is refocused on Castellanos.

The Reds have been on the lookout all offseason for additional hitting. Cincinnati signed Mike Moustakas to a four-year/$64M contract earlier this offseason. The team just recently signed Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama to a three-year/$21M contract as well.

Adding Castellanos would certainly turn an already-overcrowded outfield into one bursting at the seams. Akiyama, Nick Senzel, Phillip Ervin, Jesse Winker, Aristides Aquino, and Travis Jankowski will already be battling it out in spring training. If Castellanos signs with Cincinnati, a trade would almost assuredly be on the horizon, right?

Castellanos’ bat is elite, however, his defensive is questionable. Some fans, myself included, have raised questions over Castellanos’ ability to play in the outfield. However, looking at defensive runs saved (DRS), which that rates individual players as above or below average on defense, Castellanos has improved by leaps and bounds since taking a spot in the corner outfield.

According to FanGraphs, in his four seasons as a third baseman, Nicholas Castellanos had -64 DRS. After the 2017 season, Castellanos switched positions to the outfield. His first full season (2018) as a right fielder produced -19 DRS, but last season Castellanos improved that number to -9. There’s reason to believe that Castellanos is becoming a better defender.

Beyond that, Castellanos can rake. The 28-year led all of Major League Baseball in doubles (58) last season while also smacking 27 home runs. After Marcell Ozuna signed a one-year/$18M deal with the Braves just a few days ago, Castellanos is the unquestioned best hitter available on the open market.

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The latest Reds rumors should give fans hope that the front office is not yet done adding pieces this offseason. Moreover, it shows that Cincinnati is still unafraid to spend money. Adding Nicholas Castellanos would be the cherry on top of an already exciting offseason.

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