Cincinnati Reds: What new plan means for Nick Castellanos’ future

Major League Baseball and the player’s union agreed upon some new stipulations for the 2020 season. How might those changes affect Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos?

The Cincinnati Reds signed outfielder Nick Castellanos to a four-year/$64M contract shortly before spring training began. Unfortunately, the 2020 Major League Baseball season has temporarily been put on hold and we’re unlikely to see games before at least mid-May. How might MLB’s new agreement with the player’s association affect Castellanos?

Major League Baseball and the player’s union came to an agreement on a few controversial issues in regards to the delayed start to the 2020 season. One of the biggest obstacles for the two sides to overcome was the issue of service time. Essentially, if there’s no baseball in 2020, would players who are eligible for free agency next winter still be granted that right?

The union and MLB agreed that service time would be granted to every major league player, regardless of how many games are played in 2020. That paved the way for other aspects of the new agreement such as the draft and international free agency.

So how might the agreement affect the newly signed slugger Nick Castellanos? For starters, Castellanos agreement with the Reds is more of a one-year deal, not a four-year contract. Castellanos will make $16M in 2020, but has an opt-out clause after the first year. This means that Castellanos can become a free agent again next winter.

The Reds have three players slated to enter free agency next offseason, but if Castellanos opts out, that number could become four. Anthony DeSclafani, Trevor Bauer and Freddy Galvis will all have the ability to choose whether they stay in Cincinnati or explore other options after the 2020 season is complete.

Nick Castellanos’ 2021 salary is $14M, but the former Detroit Tiger has an opt-out clause following that season as well. Strangely, Castellanos contract could be incredibly beneficial for the right fielder given the circumstances surrounding the suspended 2020 season.

Should the 2020 season be cancelled, the possibility exists for Castellanos to not play a single inning for the Reds and become a free agent heading into 2021. However, given that a a cancelled season would hit the owners pretty hard in the pocketbook, it would be hard to see many teams investing more than $14M into Castellanos after having played no baseball for a year.

Next: Disco and Bauer to become free agents

While some fans throughout Reds Country fear that Nick Castellanos will just enter free agency after the 2020 season, a shortened or cancelled season might be the best chance to see him return to Cincinnati in 2021. After all, he can opt out once again following the 2021 season.

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