Reds owner Bob Castellini could regain the fans' trust if he did this one thing

Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos hits a home run.
Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos hits a home run. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer via Imagn

Baseball is back and we're soon to see an avalanche of free agent signings. During the lockout, Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini was raked over the coals by a fanbase that is starved for a winner. If the Reds were able to come to terms with free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos would all be forgiven? I tend to think the answer is yes.

The city of Cincinnati recently watched the Bengals go to the Super Bowl and nearly walk away as World Champions. About a month earlier, the University of Cincinnati was in the College Football Playoff. One thing is for sure, the Queen City loves their sports, and I'd wager that Reds Country would go all-in if they felt as though the Castellini family was invested in winning.

Can the Cincinnati Reds re-sign Nick Castellanos?

As we hit the reset button on the offseason, let's remember that Nick Castellanos invoked his opt-out cause and became a free agent shortly after the 2021 season ended. Castellanos effectively left $34M on the table.

Heading into free agency, Castellanos was viewed by many as one of the best free agents available, and yet, he was not signed prior to the lockout. Here we are, about to see a flurry of free agent signings, and Castellanos' name is among the best players still available. Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, and Trevor Story remain unsigned as well.

The market for Nick Castellanos the last time he was a free agent was not very robust. The slugger did not ink a deal with the Reds until late-January, just weeks before players were to report to spring training for the 2020 season.

Castellanos' first season in Cincinnati was a mixed bag, but the 30-year-old made the most of his opportunities in 2021 and went to his first All-Star Game. Castellanos also took home a Silver Slugger Award last season.

Reds fans are painfully aware of Bob Castellini's frugal ways.

If Cincinnati Reds fans were unaware of Bob Castellini's frugal ways prior to the lockout, they're not anymore. Castellini was one of only four owners who initially balked at the idea of increasing the luxury tax along with Detroit Tigers owner Chris Ilitch, Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick, and Los Angeles Angels owner Art Moreno.

Castellini is viewed by many Reds fans are extraordinarily cheap, and after waving goodbye to players like Archie Bradley, Raisel Iglesias, and Wade Miley in recent years without receiving much or anything in return, it's hard to argue against that narrative.

But, if Bob Castellini reached deep into his wallet and was able to find a way to bring Nick Castellanos back to Cincinnati, would you forgive him? You may hesitate at first, but c'mon. Admit it, if Castellanos returned to the Cincinnati Reds in 2022, that would be enough to convince you that Castellini does actually care about winning.

Nick Castellanos is not going to come cheap. Prior to the lockout, Castellanos was looking for a seven or eight-year commitment that would likely pay him at least $15M per season. Would Castellini and the Reds extend a seven-year/$125M contract to Castellanos? Would that be enough?

Next. 3 Reds who don't deserve another season in Cincinnati. dark

I think one thing matters most to Nick Castellanos and that's winning. If Bob Castellini stepped up to the plate and offered Castellanos a contract that he couldn't refuse, I believe the Reds faithful would quickly forgive the team's stingy owner. I also believe inking Castellanos gives the Redlegs a fantastic chance to take home the NL Central Division crown.