If the latest Reds rumors are true, the fans are about to become ecstatic. The Cincinnati Reds have emerged as the frontrunners for Nicholas Castellanos.
The latest Reds rumors are sure to make the fanbase smile. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Cincinnati Reds have emerged as the frontrunners in the chase for free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. After missing out on Marcell Ozuna, it’s not surprising that the Reds have turned their attention to the best available free agent hitter remaining.
Morosi is reporting that the two sides have made progress over the past few days, but also mentions the San Francisco Giants as a possible landing spot for the 27-year-old. Castellanos was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to take home a four-year contract worth $58M, but after the four-year/$64M deal Mike Moustakas signed, it’s fair to think Castellanos could sign for more.
Castellanos was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Chicago Cubs before last year’s deadline and exploded over the final two months of the season. With the North Siders, Castellanos slashed .321/.356/.646 with 16 home runs and 36 RBIs. The right-handed slugger led all of Major League Baseball with 58 doubles.
There are concerns with the potential signing of Castellanos – namely his defense. A converted third baseman, Castellanos had -19 defensive runs scored (DRS) in 2018 while playing right field. That number improved to -9 DRS in 2019, but Castellanos’ defense is still below-average.
Signing Castellanos would certainly add intrigue to an already-crowded outfield. One would think that a trade would be necessary in order to sort out who’s playing where on the outfield grass. Jesse Winker, Phillip Ervin, Aristides Aquino, Nick Senzel and Shogo Akiyama will already be fighting it out for playing time as it is.
While a jumbled outfield may raise some questions, there’s no question when it comes to the hitting ability of Nicholas Castellanos. The Florida native has a career-OPS of .797 and has seen that number steadily increase over the past three seasons. Last year, Castellanos put up a career-high OPS of .863.
If Cincinnati is looking for reliable right-handed bat to add to the middle of the team’s batting order, they may have found it. Stay tuned. If the latest Reds rumors are true, there’s a chance a contract may be agreed upon in the coming days.