Nick Castellanos on Silver Slugger Award, possible Reds reunion
The difference between this foray into free agency and the last one for Nick Castellanos is the calm he possesses. He knows the process firsthand.
The first time the search ended with Castellanos signing a five-year deal with the Reds before the start of the 2020 season; In this off-season, with a term of three years left, he opted out, which made him a free agent again.
He’s familiar with being courted – and given the success he’s driving, he’s sure to see an escalated version of it before the 2022 season.
But the star outfielder isn’t trying to pay attention to anything. His desires are clear: he wants to play for a contender, a team that is headed in a direction that he can take to the next level – although he lets his agent Scott Boras handle the logistics and questions.
“The most important thing I would say is just the relationship I have and the understanding I have for the organization, for the direction in which they want to go,” said Castellanos on Thursday evening. “’Which direction are you going? Who is part of your vision? How do you see them as part of your vision? How can I help grow and help make these pieces better than they are now? How can I improve it in the future? ‘
“Relationships, if you pay attention, you can definitely get a sense of who suits you, how you think, how you would like to approach your game, how you perceive the game, and who doesn’t.”
But Castellanos’ concern this off-season is much less than it was after 2019. It’s not hard to imagine why. Given his pedigree – a .309 / .362 / .576 slash line with 38 doubles, 34 homers, 100 RBIs, a 136 OPS +, and his first all-star nick of his career and the Silver Slugger Award in 2021 – many are expected suitors for the best free agent legal field player on the market.
“I would say a lot less – I wouldn’t say fearful is the right word, but I’ve been through it before. I know what it feels like to watch my son [play Little League] as unemployed at the moment and know how it feels, ”said Castellanos. “And it’s just – I would just say that I’m a lot more comfortable with the whole process. I understand and I will sit back and enjoy it. “
Castellanos spoke to the local Reds media after winning his first Silver Slugger Award, as announced Thursday night on the MLB Network, missing out on Joey Votto, Jonathan India and Jesse Winker.
He didn’t turn down the idea of seeing the Reds again, referring to the club as “we” when discussing their strengths after being asked if they would consider returning. Technically, Castellanos could still do this by accepting the qualification offer that Cincinnati put on his desk when he didn’t expect it to and allegedly already decided not to.
“Would I entertain the Reds? Of course I would. Why shouldn’t i I have the feeling that there are still a lot of valuable pieces that you can win very well with, ”said Castellanos. “Jonathan India… Jesse Winker is getting his right, finding out who he is, finding out what kind of father he wants to be, he’s doing a great job. Joey Votto has just reinvented himself. We still have pitching. We still have pieces. Why shouldn’t I entertain it? “
Should Castellanos sign elsewhere, the Reds would receive draft compensation.
Whichever team Castellanos gets will get a racket that tirelessly dedicates itself to its craft. The 29-year-old ditched his smartphone (he zoomed in on his son Liam’s Little League game on his wife Jessica’s iPhone with local media), has 124 OPS + in the past three seasons, and could get a longer contract since he is not until he turns 30 less than a month before the opening day.
But no accomplishment can be more important than its 2021 Silver Slugger campaign.
“Well, of course I have prepared a lot. I got my head right, I knew what I wanted to do, I figured out how I wanted to do it in the off-season, ”said Castellanos. “All the more to understand that I need to get rid of as many distractions as possible – that’s a big reason I dropped my smartphone and stuff just to lock it in, you know? See what could happen. “
Now he and the entire baseball world will be waiting to see what could happen this winter.