Reds agree to terms with outfielder Nicholas Castellanos on four-year contract

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The Reds have agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos on a four-year contract, the team announced Monday afternoon. Castellanos’ deal is worth $64 million and includes an opt-out after 2020. 

Castellanos, who turns 28 in early March, is coming off a 2019 season in which he batted .289/.337/.525 for the Tigers and Cubs with 27 home runs and 58 doubles in 151 games. For his career, Castellanos owns an OPS+ of 113 across parts of seven major league seasons. Since 2016, Castellanos has an OPS+ of 120. 

Castellanos entered the offseason ranked No. 15 on our list of the top 50 free agents. While Castellanos is a defensive liability, he’s long been a productive hitter with power from the right side. Spending all those seasons in Detroit’s Comerica Park probably wasn’t kind to his numbers, but the Reds’ Great American Ball Park should pose no such concerns. Speaking of all that, the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) tabs Castellanos for a highly productive slash line of .306/.363/.568 in 2020 with 32 home runs and 48 doubles in 146 games. Suffice it to say, the Reds would be highly pleased if Castellanos achieves those numbers, even if that would increase the likelihood that he exercises the opt-out. 

The Castellanos signing caps an active winter for the small-market Reds. They previously added power-hitting infielder Mike Moustakas (also to a four-year deal worth $64 million deal, a club record), center fielder Shogo Akiyama, and veteran lefty Wade Miley to the fold. All of that of course comes after the Reds swung trades for starters Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer before and during the 2019 season.

The Reds last season went 75-87 and finished in fourth place in the NL Central. However, at the level of runs scored and runs allowed they played more like an 80-82 team. That baseline plus recent additions in tandem with the fact that the Cardinals, Brewers, and Cubs didn’t improve this winter raises hopes that the Reds will contend in 2020. If nothing else, the Reds have proved themselves committed to success on the field, which is a point of distinction in the current era. 





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