MLB Rumors: Nick Castellanos is a free agent, having opted out of the final years of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds, according to Jon Heyman on Twitter.
The 30 year old Castellanos signed a 4 year, $64 million deal with the Reds prior to the 2020 season that gave him the right to opt out of the deal after both 2020 and 2021. Castellanos had a disappointing 2020 season, slashing just .225/.298/.486, but bounced back in 2021 with the best season of his career, slashing .309/.362/.576 and being named to the All Star team for the first time.
The Rangers pursued Castellanos as well in the 2019-20 offseason, and given the team’s stated intent to be aggressive in the upcoming free agent market, and the need for righthanded power, Castellanos would seem to be a good fit for Texas. Texas was looking to sign Castellanos to play first base at that time. He moved to right field in 2018, after having spent the first several years of his career as a rather poor defensive third baseman, though the defensive numbers haven’t been terribly kind to Castellanos in the outfield, either.
On the topic of righthanded hitting COF/DH options, the Philadelphia Phillies declined their $15 million option on outfielder Andrew McCutchen yesterday. McCutchen slashed .222/.334/.444 in 574 plate appearances while manning left field for the Phillies in 2021. McCutchen, who just turned 35, is far removed from when he finished in the top 4 of the MVP voting four years in a row — however, he can still mash lefties and is respected as a veteran presence.
One would assume McCutchen, in the waning years of his career, will be looking to join a contender. Nevertheless, he is someone who the Rangers, I suspect, will have some interest in, and at least inquire on.