2. Will the Reds re-sign Nick Castellanos?
Obviously, we had to get question No. 1 out of the way before we could move along to question No. 2. Presuming Nick Castellanos opts out of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds, will the front office be able to re-sign the All-Star outfielder?
The Reds can re-sign Castellanos. The more appropriate question might be whether or not Bob Castellini is willing to open up his wallet in order to meet Castellanos’ contract demands. I told you earlier that I expect Castellanos to sign a deal that’s more lucrative than what Marcel Ozuna signed, but it’ll be less than the one that George Springer signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ozuna’s deal offers an average annual value of $16.25M and Springer’s contract allows the former Houston Astros star to take home, on average, $25M per year. Let’s meet in the middle and assume that Nick Castellanos will be looking to sign a four-to-five year deal with an AAV of $20M.
That means we’re looking at a four-year/$80M contract or possibly a five-year/$100M contract. Can the Reds afford to pay Castellanos that kind of money? Sure, but it’s going to impact how the team constructs the rest of its roster, and it may impact potential contract extensions with other players.
Jesse Winker, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle will all be due substantial raises via arbitration after their performances during the 2021 season. All three are possible candidates to receive contract extensions this winter as well.
So, back to the original question, will the Cincinnati Reds re-sign Nick Castellanos? This is a tough one. If the Reds are able to match any offer Castellanos receives, I believe the slugger will return to Cincinnati. If another team outbids the Reds, I think Castellanos will be playing elsewhere next season. I hope I’m wrong, but I do not expect the Reds to re-sign Nick Castellanos.