But after seeing the slugger decline the qualifying offer extended by the Reds, it's looking more and more likely that Castellanos will not return to Cincinnati.
Castellanos' .309 batting average, 34 home runs, and 100 RBIs should get him some MVP votes and will not be be easy to replace.
With the Reds moving on from Tucker Barnhart and Wade Miley, it's looking as though Castellanos' replacement may have to be someone already on the team. But who?
The Reds will have to lean hard on these 3 players in 2022.
As we all know Eugenio Suárez was either feast or famine last season. It seemed like every time Geno stepped up to the plate it was either a strikeout (171) or a home run (31).
But let's not forget what Suárez is capable of. An All-Star in 2018 with 34 home runs and 104 RBIs, Suarez followed up that season by hitting 49 home runs and garnering MVP votes in 2019.
We saw glimpses of the old Geno in September. The Reds are hopeful that version of Suárez shows up on Opening Day.
Mike Moustakas is certainly another option to pick up the slack from Nick Castellanos' likely departure. The three-time All-Star has yet to have a full season in the Cincinnati uniform.
At 33 years old, there's surely some questions about Moose's prodcution at this stage of the game, but he clearly can be a difference maker as he's proven during his time with the Royals and Brewers.
Moustakas has yet to live up to expectations since joining the Reds in December of 2019. The 2020 season was shortened to just 60 games and Moose was plagued by injuries in 2021.
Like Eugenio Suárez, we're not going to see Mike Moustakas become Cincinnati's everyday right fielder, but with the DH likely coming to the NL, Moose could find a spot in the everyday lineup.
While Jose Barrero will have to battle it out with veteran infielder Kyle Farmer to find a regular spot in the Reds' lineup, the rookie could be a prime candidate to break out next season and provide Cincinnati with the offensive boost they'll need should Nick Castellanos sign elsewhere.
Spending the majority of the 2021 season in the minors, Barrero hit .303 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs. Barrero also stole 16 bases with an 80% success rate.
Jose Barrero is an electric player at the dish and in the field. The 23-year-old could be a difference maker in the Cincinnati Reds lineup next season.
If the Cincinnati Reds have any hope of competing in 2022, they'll have to find a way to replace what Nick Castellanos brought to the table in 2021. Even if that's a combined effort on the part of the three players mentioned.