What might the Reds starting outfield look like on Opening Day 2022?
Jesse Winker, Ketel Marte, Tyler Naquin
Will the Reds make a real play to keep Nick Castellanos in Cincinnati? While I'd like to believe the answer is yes, for now, I'm going to say no.
Castellanos is almost certain to opt out of his current contract, leaving the remaining two years and $34M on the table. While that's a lot of money, Castellanos can certainly secure a more lucrative deal on the open market.
With Castellanos likely gone, look for the Reds to replace their right fielder from the inside. Tyler Naquin had a career-year in 2021 and is more than capable of holding down the fort in right field.
Jesse Winker's injury, along with a below-average bullpen, were the two biggest reasons Cincinnati missed the playoffs in 2021. Look for Winker to be in peak form next spring and make a run at the NL MVP.
While I don't belive the Reds will make a serious offer to keep Nick Castellanos, I think Cincinnati's front office will make a play for Arizona Diamondbacks centerfielder Ketel Marte.
Nick Senzel can't stay healthy and the Reds need a new direction in center field. Marte has a very affordable contract. The 28-year-old is owed just $8M in 2022, $10M in 2023, and $12M in 2024.
The Diamondbacks are rebuilding, and the Reds have some very talented players in their farm system that may tempt the D-Backs to pull the trigger.
Would a combination of Graham Ashcraft, Ivan Johnson, and Michael Siani be enough to sway Arizona to make a deal? If the Reds are looking for a way to replace Castellanos' production without breaking the bank, this is it.