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Report: Nick Castellanos 'Likely' to Opt Out of Reds Contract, Test MLB Free Agency

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVAugust 25, 2021

AP Foto/Jeff Dean

Nick Castellanos is in the middle of a career season with the Cincinnati Reds and will reportedly look to cash in on it this offseason.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the All-Star right fielder "likely" will opt out of the remaining two years and $34 million on his contract to become a free agent after the 2021 season ends.

At 29 years old, Castellanos is in the middle of his prime and made his first All-Star Game this season.

He figures to earn a significant contract this offseason given the fact he is slashing .318/.376/.565 with 22 home runs and 70 RBI while anchoring the Cincinnati lineup in the middle of a playoff race.

His presence is a primary reason the Reds are one game ahead of the San Diego Padres for the final National League wild-card spot.

Castellanos previously played for the Detroit Tigers from 2013 until they traded him to the Chicago Cubs during the 2019 campaign. He signed with the Reds prior to the 2020 season.

While there have been questions about his defense, he has been a productive hitter for much of his career. The shortened 2020 season is the only time in the past five seasons he didn't hit more than 20 home runs, and he sports a career slash line of .278/.329/.481.

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It wouldn't be a surprise if a number of teams bid for such a productive hitter this offseason, and Castellanos will likely receive a larger annual salary than what he appears on the verge of opting out of with Cincinnati.

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