Sources have told The Athletic that the Cincinnati Reds have inked Nick Castellanos to a four-year $64 million dollar deal. C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the news on Twitter, and the details of the contract were reported by Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan.
Castellanos, one of the many clients of agent Scott Boras, and one of the top outfielder free agents on the market, also received the standard opt-out after the first season with the Reds. As Jeff Passan points out, this first-year opt-out gives Nick a "palette of choices."
The Cincinnati Reds have had an extremely productive off-season, inking not only Castellanos, but also previously adding Mike Moustakas, Shogo Akiyama, and Wade Miley to bolster their talent. With a loaded outfield, it will be interesting to see what sort of wizardry the Reds employ to handle a problem that, as they say, is a good one to have.
Offensively, Castellanos is most likely to hit somewhere in the middle of a strong lineup amid Akiyama, Moustakas, and of course, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez. Since 2016, Castellanos has been a reliable player offensively, and just a glance at his 2019 numbers, per Baseball Reference, show a slash of .321/.356/.646 with an outstanding OPS of 1.002. Nick put out those kinds of numbers in just 225 plate appearances with the Chicago Cubs. Castellanos is also a doubles machine. He amassed 58 doubles over 151 games in 2019 for the Tigers and Cubs combined.
Defensively, there are some lingering questions. Statcast shows that Castellanos is just in the 4th percentile with Outs Above Average, and just in the 13th percentile with Outfielder Jump. Even with some iffy numbers for Nick defensively, and a packed outfield, he is sure to be an everyday addition to the Reds' outfield.
There may be a few lingering questions for both Nick Castellanos and the Cincinnati Reds, but with strong offseason moves for the club and an obvious intention to avoid having another meager 75-win season, the Reds will certainly be a club to keep an eye on in 2020.