Wednesday, May 29, 2024
AnalysisCincinnati RedsMLBNational LeagueNewsNL Central

Source: Reds Sign Nicholas Castellanos

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Reds have continued their active offseason today, reportedly signing outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal, per The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans. Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting it will be a four-year, $64 million deal, with an opt-out after year one, and another opt-out after year two.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but first, a look at the contract details. At four years and $64M, the total dollar value is an exact match to the deal given to Mike Moustakas in December. The similarities end there, however, as Castellanos was given two opt-outs, one after the first year, and one after the second year.

The opt-outs add appeal to Castellanos, as a strong season in either 2020 or 2021 could afford him the opportunity to land an even bigger deal. At the same time, opting out would make Castellanos eligible for a Qualifying Offer, giving them Reds draft pick compensation if he goes elsewhere.

The Castellanos signing comes after the Reds had already signed Shogo Akiyama, and are now left with a glut of outfielders in Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker, Aristides Aquino, and the aforementioned Castellanos and Akiyama.

The Castellanos signing seems to imply two things: firstly that the Reds are going all-out to win the division in 2020, and secondly, that they are not yet done making roster additions. It is not likely the team will carry all five outfielders mentioned above, so it seems another move must be made to clear one of those outfielders from the roster. Of course, Aquino does have an option remaining, so he could be sent to AAA to start the season if no other move is made.

The most intriguing possibility is that the Reds could use their outfield depth to acquire a shortstop, and they have been connected to Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor throughout the offseason. Jon Heyman of MLB Network noted that the Reds are considering trading Senzel now that Castellanos is on board, and speculatively, Senzel could be a headliner in a potential deal for a shortstop.

As for Castellanos, he figures to draw regular at bats in one of the outfield corners. His defense is suspect, at best, and is probably best suited for left field, though nearly all of his Major League innings in the outfield have been in right field.

What Castellanos lacks in defensive value, however, he makes up for in offensive value. Between two teams last year, Castellanos slashed .289/.337/.525, and his StatCast expected metrics back up those numbers. Though he is projected for just 1.5 fWAR, per Steamer, he has posted at least 2.4 fWAR in three of the past four seasons.

Castellanos should go a long way toward helping a Reds lineup that was admittedly weak going into the offseason, but the additions they have made this offseason have made their lineup legitimately intriguing. It remains to be seen what other moves the Reds will make, but this team looks to be an interesting one to watch in 2020.

Kyle Berger

Reds contributor for Max’s Sporting Studio. Follow on Twitter @KB_48