Following a strong second half of the season after a trade to the Chicago Cubs, power-hitting outfielder Nicholas Castellanos is a free agent. Between the Tigers and Cubs, Castellanos hit .289 with 27 HR, 73 RBI, and 58 doubles. Throughout his seven seasons in the MLB, Castellanos averages a .277/.326/.471/.797 line with 120 HR, 460 RBI, and 229 doubles. There are plenty of teams in need of outfield help and power in their lineup. Out of them, five teams are in the largest need of a power-hitting outfielder.
The Cubs traded for Castellanos from the Tigers at the trade deadline this past season. The corner outfielder went on to hit .321 with 16 HR and a 1.002 OPS. For the Cubs, the best hitting outfielder outside of Castellanos was Kyle Schwarber, who hit .250 with 38 HR and 92 RBI, followed by Jason Heyward, who hit .251 with 21 HR and 62 RBI. The Cubs do have former No. 9 overall pick from the 2015 Draft, in Ian Happ, who showed signs of potential. To improve the hitting from the outfield, the Cubs traded for Castellanos and have shown interest in re-signing him to help the depth in the outfield while giving Happ more time to develop.
The Reds made a splash in free agency already by signing Mike Moustakas to a four year, $64 million deal. The infield for the Reds is looking really good with Joey Votto at first, Moustakas at second, Eugenio Suárez at third, and Freddy Galvis at shortstop.
The outfield, on the other hand, is not as strong. Aristides Aquino is the power-hitting right fielder for the Reds, with Nick Senzel in centerfield and Jesse Winker in left. The Reds are very high on Aquino and Senzel but could look to add depth or a starter. Nicholas Castellanos fits the scheme, as he and Aquino are both dangerous hitters. Pairing them alongside Suárez, Moustakas, and Votto gives the lineup power throughout. Winker had a down year at the plate, batting .269 following a .299 season in 2018. Castellanos would provide even more juice to a lineup filled with power and would make this Reds team a pitcher’s nightmare.
The Diamondbacks are coming off an 85-77 season, missing the second Wild Card spot by 4 games. The team did sign LHP Madison Bumgarner to a five year, $85 million deal to help the pitching staff but the biggest need for the D-Backs the outfield.
After losing Jarrod Dyson and Adam Jones to free agency, the D-Backs have only three outfielders on their current roster: Tim Locastro, Ketel Marte, and David Peralta. Centerfield and left field are set as Peralta and Marte are cornerstones and stars of the franchise. Right field is where things get messy. Castellanos is on their radar and would bring a boost to a lineup that was tied for 18th in home runs this past season. The Diamondbacks have the money to add another big name to their team. Castellanos is the perfect fit for them as they need a boost in the lineup and fills a huge need. Remember: the Diamondbacks were reportedly in on J.D. Martinez if he opted-out of his contract with the Red Sox. Castellanos can be a great versatile alternative.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The Giants are in desperate need of hitting as they were one of the worst teams in the league last year, ranking 27th in batting average, 27th in runs scored 26th in home runs, and 25th in hits. Nicholas Castellanos is one bat that would definitely help the Giants lineup in all four categories. He could also bring more youth and experience to the outfield, as the average age for the current outfielders is just 27-years old. The Giants lost franchise cornerstone and star Madison Bumgarner to a division rival will need to spend money to try to stay competitive. The biggest need is in the outfield; Castellanos has a huge connection to the Giants so it makes sense for both sides.
The Texas Rangers just acquired two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber from the Cleveland Indians. This came after they signed Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles to add on to Lance Lynn and Mike Minor. The Rangers have a set rotation with those five pitchers and lost out on Anthony Rendon, so they have money to spend on another free agent. With the team trading away outfielders Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields, there is a need for an outfielder. Castellanos can fill that void. Adding Castellanos would boost the lineup that was 17th last season in batting average and home runs. The Rangers have found their pitching staff but now will have to focus on solidifying the outfield and improving the lineup.
The 27-year old will provide a boost to any lineup he is plugged into, as was proven during the second half with Chicago. Nicholas Castellanos is one of the most highly-touted free agents left available and could sign any day for a substantial sum.
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