As a result, the 29-year-old, who is entering free agency, is going to be a very hot commodity this winter.
Castellanos has played for three different teams so far during his nine years at the MLB level.
Could he make it four in 2022?
Or might be re-sign with one of his previous clubs?
Let’s look at some potential landing spots for the superstar.
3. Cincinnati Reds (Re-Sign)
Let’s start with the obvious one.
Although Castellanos just opted out of his deal with the Cincinnati Reds, the club could still sign him to a new contract.
The former first-round pick has spent each of the past two seasons with Cincinnati, and his stint with the team has been a smashing success.
In 2021, he slashed .309/.362/.576.
He homered 34 times, doubled 38 times, tripled once, and drove in 100 runs.
Nick Castellanos with a 3-run bomb in the bottom of the ☝️st!
His 16th homer on the season 🔥pic.twitter.com/vdN1DlREX8
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 1, 2021
He also registered a very impressive OPS+ of 136.
All things considered, he was one of the league’s best hitters this past season.
If the Reds want to contend for a playoff bid again in 2022, they’d be wise to retain Castellanos if possible.
2. San Diego Padres
With Tommy Pham entering free agency this offseason, the San Diego Padres are going to have an outfield void to fill.
Pham was a solid offensive player in 2021, as he posted a 103 OPS+.
But if the Padres were to add Castellanos, it’d undeniably be a massive upgrade.
San Diego’s 2021 campaign was a huge disappointment, but the team has already taken a step in the right direction for 2022 with the hiring of Bob Melvin.
If the club can keep the momentum going by bringing in a guy like Castellanos, then the Padres will likely be considered title contenders going into next season.
That said, it’ll be interesting to see if San Diego can make a big signing work financially.
There are no guarantees in that regard.
1. Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox desperately need outfield help, and Castellanos could be the perfect guy for the job.
Back in 2019, the White Sox were interested in Castellanos, but the two sides didn’t end up together.
Source: #WhiteSox remain interested in Nicholas Castellanos, following their signing of Dallas Keuchel. Their current payroll obligation is around $100 million for 2020, with room to possibly increase further. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 23, 2019
Could the organization express interest again this offseason?
It seems likely.
The White Sox are ready to win now, but they’re going to have to shore out their outfield first.
Adding Castellanos, who is seemingly entering the best years of his career, would do wonders for the club.
The market for Castellanos will likely be intense.
When he opted out of his deal with the Reds, he walked away from $34 million over two years (an AAV of $17M), so he’s obviously looking for a bigger number.
It seems like a sure thing that one team will give him the figure he’s looking for (as long as it’s within reason), but which team will that be?
It’s tough to predict how this is gong to unfold.
With free agent starting in just days, we won’t have to wait very long until rumors start to surface.
Get ready for a chaotic offseason.NEXT: 3 Free Agents Royals Should Sign This Offseason