MLB Rumors: Latest on Nick Castellanos' Contract amid Phillies, Marlins Buzz

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 29, 2021

Cincinnati Reds' Nick Castellanos watches as he hits a sacrifice fly during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Cincinnati, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
AP Photo/Aaron Doster

Free-agent outfielder Nick Castellanos is reportedly looking for a long-term contract this offseason as multiple teams pursue him following an All-Star campaign.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com called him "a great fit" for the Miami Marlins but suggested the National League East team could fall out of the running because he is looking for a seven- or eight-year deal.

Elsewhere, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Philadelphia Phillies reached out to Castellanos' camp, which is all the more notable because president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was with the Detroit Tigers when they selected the then-third baseman in the first round of the 2010 draft.

While there has been a run of contract agreements prior to a potential work stoppage Wednesday, Castellanos remains one of the best available players who could drastically improve whichever lineup he joins.

Giving him such a long-term deal could be something of a risk considering he turns 30 in March, but he has played the best baseball of his career of late.

He was a first-time All-Star and Silver Slugger winner this past season for the Cincinnati Reds while slashing .309/.362/.576 with 34 home runs and 100 RBI. Every number in the slash line and the home run total represented career bests, and he fell a single RBI short of the career-high 101 from the 2017 season.

Castellanos hit 23 or more long balls in three straight years from 2017 through 2019 and had an impressive 14 in 60 games during the shortened 2020 campaign.

Philadelphia was a middling 15th in the league in home runs in 2021 with 198, while Miami was near the bottom at 28th with 158. Adding Castellanos, who has also played for the Chicago Cubs, would surely drive those totals up as either team looks to compete with the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Miami already added some offensive pop when Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported it agreed to a four-year, $53 million deal with former Milwaukee Brewers slugger Avisail Garcia, and the 29-homer outfielder would be quite the one-two punch with Castellanos.

Still, the reported length of the latter's desired contract could be an issue for teams looking to make a smaller commitment, even if he is a game-changing presence in the middle of a lineup.