We can file these latest Reds rumors under "O" for obvious. That said, it's good to hear that the Cincinnati Reds are interested in re-signing Nick Castellanos in the event he opts out of his contract.
Castellanos signed a four-year/$64M contract prior to the 2020 season. However, the slugger had the option following the 2020 season, and will have the option once the 2021 season is complete, to opt out once again.
The latest Reds rumors suggest keeping Nick Castellanos is a priority.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweeted last night that Nick Castellanos will obviously opt out of his current contract, leaving the remaining two years and $34M on the table. I'm not sure what's more obvious; Castellanos opting out of his deal or the latest Reds rumors?
Coming off his best year, at 29 years old, this is likely Castellanos' best chance to secure a long-term contract. Many have speculated that Castellanos could sign a nine-figure deal this offseason.
The Reds have agreed to such deals in the past; most notably Joey Votto and Homer Bailey. But, Castellanos isn't the only player Cincinnati may look to come to terms with on a contract this winter.
Jesse Winker, Tyler Mahle, and Luis Castillo, all of whom are coming off very good seasons, will enter the offseason with two years of team control remaining. Might the Reds look to lock up one of their better, young players?
The Cincinnati bullpen was also horrendous in 2021, ranking in the bottom third of the league in nearly every meaningful category. Michael Lorenzen, Brad Brach, and Mychal Givens will all become free agents in a couple weeks, so the team will need reinforcements.
The biggest obstacle in keeping Nick Castellanos in the Queen City are the monstrous contracts already on the books for 2021. Joey Votto, Eugenio Suárez, Mike Moustakas, Sonny Gray, and Shogo Akiyama will all pocket $8M or more in 2022.
Votto, Suárez, and Moose will account for more than $50M of the Reds payroll next season. If Cincinnati picks up Wade Miley's team-option, that's another $10M.
These latest Reds rumors are undoubtedly true, but how much is the ownership and front office willing to pay to retain Nick Castellanos? That's the question.