MLB Rumors: Nicholas Castellanos and the Texas Rangers had a positive meeting, according to Jon Paul Morosi, who says that the Rangers are “among the finalists” to land the free agent. Castellanos, a power hitting righthanded outfielder, is also sought by the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox, and the San Francisco Giants, per Morosi.
Castellanos, who turns 28 in March, was a supplemental first round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2010 who got a well above slot bonus. He was an every day third baseman for the Tigers by 2014, when he finished 8th in the Rookie of the Year balloting, but he didn’t hit much his first couple of seasons, and his glovework at the hot corner was always problematic. Castellanos moved full time to right field in 2018, and he has mashed the last couple of seasons, putting up a .294/.346/.513 slash line and 124 OPS+ over the past two years for the Tigers and, after he was dealt at the deadline last year, the Cubs.
Advanced metrics show Castellanos as a very poor defensive rightfielder, and the thought has been that he would be asked to move to first base if he lands in Texas, though the Rangers could put him in right field and move Joey Gallo to first base. The Rangers are, as well all know, rather aggressively seeking a righthanded power bat for the lineup, and Castellanos would fill that role, as well as being one of the youngest free agents out there, and thus in a place on the aging curve where you would expect him to maintain his production for a while.
Castellanos has a reputation for being a high-makeup guy, which we know the Rangers value. When a story like this comes out about how great a meeting between a player and a team was, however, it often feels to me like a leak from an agent trying to put pressure on other teams to step up and improve their offers. It feels like things have been in limbo for the Rangers and their pursuit of an offensive upgrade for a while now, and this, at least, is something for us to think about for the time being.