NBC Sports Philadelphia recently caught up with former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos. During the the conversation, Castellanos was asked what it meant for John Middleton, the Phillies' owner, to allow the club to spend over the luxury tax threshold in order to sign the former All-Star.
Castellanos' answer was straight-forward, and to the point. His answer also seemed to throw some shade at Reds owner Bob Castellini. The slugger said, "At the end of the day, baseball comes down to ownership. The owner either wants to invest, and cares about winning, or doesn't."
While that's quite the compliment for Middleton, I tend to think those words were directed more at Castellini. The Reds have spent virtually the entire offseason shedding big contract and lowering payroll. Just last week, Cincinnati traded former All-Stars Sonny Gray, Eugenio Suárez, and Jesse Winker.
Nick Castellanos put Reds ownership on blast.
Nick Castellanos, along with the aforementioned Jesse Winker, put forth an All-Star performance in 2021. After the season concluded, Castellanos decided to opt out of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Just last week, the slugger inked a five-year/$100M deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
I'm here to tell you, right now, that the Reds could have easily afforded to bring Castellanos back to the Queen City. In fact, it was rumored that the Reds entered the bidding war prior to Castellanos signing with Philly.
Whether that was the Reds putting forth a last-ditch effort for show, or whether the team was actually serious about bringing the 30-year-old back to Cincinnati is unknown. But, after seeing the Reds ridding themselves of Winker, Suárez, Gray, Tucker Barnhart, and Wade Miley, do you really think Castellanos, or any other free agent for that matter, wants to sign a longterm deal with the Reds?
"At the end of the day, baseball comes down to ownership. The owner either wants to invest, and cares about winning, or doesn't. So it speaks a lot to who he is. So, Philadelphia should be pumped that that guy (John Middleton) is behind the Phillies."- Nick Castellanos, Phillies OF
Bob Castellini, Nick Krall, and the rest of Cincinnati's executives have effectively set this franchise back two to three by skimping on their investments. The club went all-in during the offseason prior to the 2020 season, and the team came up short. To be fair, the pandemic-shortened 60-game affair did nothing to help that team achieve its goals.
But now, one year removed from finishing with a 83-win record and just out of the playoffs, the Cincinnati Reds are nowhere near contending. Nick Castellanos was right, at the end of the day, it all comes down to ownership. Right now, the Reds are in a world of hurt.