Nick Castellanos' contract demands may see him return to the Reds

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) walks through the dugout.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos (2) walks through the dugout. / Sam Greene/The Enquirer via Imagn

Don't count the Cincinnati Reds out of the bidding for Nick Castellanos just yet.

With Mark Feinsand of reporting that Castellanos is looking for a seven or eight-year commitment, might Cincinnati play ball?

Nick Castellanos is seeking at least a 7-year contract.

Castellanos is perhaps the best free agent outfielder remaining on the open market.

Starling Marte signed a four-year/$78M pact with the New York Mets and Avisail Garcia just inked a four-year/$53M contract with the Miami Marlins.

Marte's $19.5M AAV is about what Castellanos should expect to land on the open market.

Miami was said to be in the running for Castellanos earlier this offseason, but after adding Garcia, you have to figure the Marlins are not in the market for another outfielder.

I still maintain that the Cincinnati Reds haven't given up on bringing Nick Castellanos back to the Queen City.

They had already committed another two years and $34M when they signed Castellanos back in 2020.

The slugger opted instead to enter free agency this winter in search of a more lucrative contract.

If Nick Castellanos and his agent Scott Boras stick to their guns, the 29-year-old is looking at hefty price tag. Would a team offer Castellaons a seven-year/$135M deal?

The more important question would be, would the Cincinnati Reds offer Nick Castellanos a seven-year/$135M deal? I don't think that's too crazy.

The Reds could still re-sign Nick Castellanos.

What if all these trade talks over the offseason are centered around bringing Nick Castellanos back to the Cincinnati Reds?

The Reds have already shed $17.5M-worth of payroll commitment for the 2022 season by trading Tucker Barnhart and waiving Wade Miley.

With the latest rumors circulating about the Reds three starters on the trade block, you have to assume that one of the trio of Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle will not return in 2022.

Gray is owed $10.2M in 2022, and the duo of Castillo and Mahle are estimated by MLB Trade Rumors to collectively take home over $13M next season.

If the Reds are able to move Gray and his $10M-plus from next year's payroll, Cincinnati would only be on the hook for the $62M tied up in their five veterans.

Joey Votto ($25M), Mike Moustakas ($16M), Eugenio Suárez ($11M), Shogo Akiyama ($8M), and Justin Wilson ($2.3M) are the only Reds players under contract for next season.

A seven-year commitment from the Cincinnati Reds would keep Nick Castellanos in the Queen City through his age-37 season.

When you look at Castellanos' home/ road splits, the Florida native may have a tough time convincing other teams to make such a long-term commitment.

Castellanos hit .359/.407/.702 at Great American Ball Park, but .260/.319/.454 away from home. Those numbers will undoubtedly come up during Castellanos' contract negotiations.

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I still have to squint pretty hard to see Nick Castellanos returning to Cincinnati, but his desired contract may keep the Reds in play.