Nick Castellanos To Exercise Choice Fork

Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos it has exercised the exclusivity in its contract and will re-enter the free agent market, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter link). The Scott Boras client had two years and $ 34MM remaining on his contract but will seek a longer contract (and a stronger annual value) on the free market. The Reds can, and certainly will, extend a $ 18.4MM qualifying offer to Castellanos – which he is entitled to reject.

Castellanos, 30 in March, has been almost-locked to opt out of this contract for months. Although he decided to give up the first leave in his deal last winter after a shortening through the final weeks of the shortened pandemic season, he was one of the best batsmen in the National League during the 2021. The microfracture in his wrist suffered back in late July would prove to sideline him for a longer period or lighten his production in the final two months, it might have been another story, but Castellanos ended the season on a bubble tear at the. plate.

Overall, Castellanos hit .309 / .362 / .576 this season, completing a career-high 34 home runs with 38 doubles and a triple en route to a robust 140 wRC + in the season. That includes a .294 / .335 / .606 slash and 14 turnovers in his final 176 plate appearances, which have certainly allayed any concern that the July wrist injury will continue and impact his production at the dish.

On the defensive end of the equation, Castellanos once again had its share of struggles. Almost any defensive metric will paint him as below average in right field, and that was a problem for him stemming from his days as a third baseman in Detroit. Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Over Average both tied Castellanos at -7 in 2021 – which is actually an improvement over recent seasons – and he recorded with -1.5 Ultimate Zone Racking. Some may be surprised to see that Castellanos actually has an above-average sprint speed (65 percent among MLB position players), but Statcast also puts him in just the seventh percentile in terms of his off-field jumps.

In general, the lack of defensive value should not be too serious. Castellanos has been consistently more than an average batsman since an explosive 2016 campaign with the Tigers, and he has enjoyed the best season of his career this past season. With the long-awaited arrival of the selected hitter in the National League, it is possible that he will be more valuable than ever before in 2022. Full-time (or even part-time) DH work has never been a choice for Castellanos in Detroit thank you. to the presence of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, and he spent his two and a half seasons away from Motor City in the National League. Even if he doesn’t immediately slip into full-time DH territory, Castellanos could at least see fewer innings in the outfield than he has had in the past.

More will come.

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