Cincinnati Reds: 3 reasons why Nick Castellanos should return in 2021

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 08: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds swings his bat at Miller Park (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 08: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds swings his bat at Miller Park (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 4
Next
Marcell Ozuna #20 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning of Game Two of the National League Wild Card Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 01: Marcell Ozuna #20 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning of Game Two of the National League Wild Card Series against the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

3. Marcell Ozuna is a free agent, again.

Last offseason, we saw the debate drone on and on for what seemed like weeks on end; would you rather have Marcell Ozuna or Nick Castellanos? In the end, Ozuna signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Braves and Nick Castellanos signed a four-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Ozuna’s monster 2020 campaign will put him ahead of Castellanos should he opt out.

Ozuna had a phenomenal year in Atlanta. The 29-year-old slugged his way atop the National League leaderboard for home runs in 2020. Ozuna’s 18 round-trippers put him one ahead of Fernando Tatis Jr. Ozuna’s 56 RBIs led the senior circuit, with three more than his teammate Freddie Freeman. Ozuna is in line for a big-time contract.

That said, Ozuna had to essentially sell himself pretty hard last offseason. It was pretty late in the game before any team committed to Ozuna, and even then, the slugger had to settle for a one-year “prove it” deal. The Reds had Ozuna on their short-list last winter and reportedly offered him a multi-year deal, but he turned it down.

With Ozuna entering the free agent market again in 2020, he’s likely to be the top outfielder available this winter, save for George Springer. Next year’s free agent class is much weaker, with Michael Conforto leading the way.

Next. Greatest trade deadline deals in Reds history

There’s also the matter of the expiring collective bargaining agreement. With the Player’s Union and the league heading towards what’s expected to be intense negotiations, Nick Castellanos might do well to stick with the current contract he has. There’s no telling where MLB will be following next season.