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Reds: Answering the 5 biggest questions of the offseason

MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 29: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 29: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds stands on the field.
CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 06: Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds stands on the field. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds 2021 season came to a close on Sunday with a win in Pittsburgh. The Redlegs defeated the Buccos by a score of 6-3 and the attention now shifts from the players to the front office and ownership.

Oh sure, some players, namely Nick Castellanos, have some decisions to make in the coming weeks and months, but the direction of this team heading into the 2022 season rests on the shoulders of GM Nick Krall, CEO Bob Castellini, and the other decision-makers in the Reds front office.

Joey Votto’s resurgence along with the emergence of rookies Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson have helped to lay a solid foundation for next season. Cincinnati’s starting rotation can remain intact, and the club’s top two prospects look like they’re ready to make contributions in 2022.

However, there are some big questions heading into the offseason. I’ll try my best to answer the most pressing issues facing Cincinnati’s front office moving forward.

1. Will Nick Castellanos opt out of his contract with the Reds?

This is the first domino to fall, and I think all of Reds Country understands that baseball is a business. Nick Castellanos can opt out of the final two years of his contract. In doing so, he’ll leave $34M on the table.

That’s a lot of money for folks like you and me, but Castellanos stands to take home a bigger pay day if he exercises the opt out clause in his contract. Last offseason, we saw George Springer sign a six-year/$150M contract.

Now, I doubt that Castellanos will see that type of cash. Springer is a three-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, and World Series MVP. However, Marcel Ozuna cashed in on his 2020 performance and signed a four-year/$65M contract last winter as well. I think Castellanos will be able to take home a contract in that ballpark, and may even be able to sign for more.

Will Nick Castellanos opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds? Yes. Castellanos has expressed his happiness with this Reds team, but in the end, the opportunity to cash in on an MVP-type season is too good to pass up.

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