Cubs Trade Rumors: Tigers' Nicholas Castellanos Targeted by Chicago

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 14: Nicholas Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers hits against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on July 14, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs "are among the teams showing interest" in Detroit Tigers right fielder Nicholas Castellanos, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

Castellanos is batting .280 with a .467 slugging percentage, 10 home runs and 35 RBI in 92 games. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian noted why he'd be of particular use to the Cubs:

Jordan Bastian @MLBastian

Castellanos has a 1.090 OPS and 184 wRC+ vs left-handed pitching this year. Cubs have struggled vs. LHP and corner OF is one place on roster where help could be added. https://t.co/SdTlT2Fva4

The 27-year-old is a free agent in the offseason, so he's a prime candidate to possibly move before the trade deadline.

The Tigers are last in the American League Central at 29-65 and in the middle of a complete teardown. Detroit could hold on to him for the remainder of the year and collect a compensation pick were he to decline a qualifying offer and sign elsewhere. Flipping him for a prospect or two would make just as much sense.

Detroit should benefit from what is a general dearth of realistic options for teams hoping to improve ahead of the stretch run.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Kansas City Royals second baseman and right fielder Whit Merrifield is unlikely to move based on the Royals' high demands. In addition, the Chicago White Sox prefer to re-sign impending free-agent Jose Abreu rather than trade him.

With home run totals climbing across the league, Castellanos' total is a little underwhelming. His performance could be hindered somewhat about the general uncertainty regarding his future.

"This, probably, in its own way, has been the most difficult year I've had, just with everything that's gone on," he said, per McCosky. "It's just a learning experience. All I can do is show these guys (his teammates) that you've got to go out and play every day and do what you can to help the team."

As Bastian outlined, the Cubs have an obvious need to get a right-handed bat in a corner outfield position. He'd be an offensive upgrade over Albert Almora Jr., with Jason Heyward going from right to center.

If Chicago doesn't give the Tigers the trade offer they're looking for, another team is likely to swing a deal for Castellanos prior to July 31.