Back before the nearly-100-day MLB lockout commenced, 2021 All-Star outfielder Nick Castellanos elected to opt out of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds and officially become a free agent. The 30-year-old was rumored to be “drawing interest” from the likes of the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants early in the offseason.
Now that spring training is underway, there is reportedly a new front-runner for acquiring Castellanos.
Castellanos will be entering his 10th MLB season this spring and is coming off of arguably his best year, as he made his first ever All-Star team. The former first-round pick of the Detroit Tigers made his big league debut in September 2013, and after hitting 11 home runs and collecting 66 RBIs during the 2014 season, he finished eighth in that year’s Rookie of the Year voting.
Castellanos would stay with the Tigers until he was moved to the Chicago Cubs at the 2019 trade deadline. He finished out the 2019 campaign with the Cubs, notching 16 home runs and 36 RBIs, to go along with a brilliant .321/.356/.646 slash line, in just 51 games and 525 plate appearances.
The Hialeah, Florida native signed with the Reds in the 2020 offseason, and in the pandemic-shortened campaign, hit 14 home runs and collected 34 RBIs across 60 games and 242 plate appearances. The right-fielder broke out in a big way in 2021, setting career-highs in home runs (34), batting average (.309), on-base percentage (.362) and slugging percentage (.576).