Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos was an absolute menace at the plate in 2021. On the year, he hit .309/.362/.576 with a career high 34 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Castellanos' deal with the Reds was originally four years worth $64 million, with a mutual option for the 2024 season worth $20 million. It also featured player opt-outs after 2020 and 2021.
His COVID-abbreviated 2020 season was not great, so he was happy to stick with the deal this year. Now, after a career season, he's reportedly opting out according to MLB insider Jon Heyman.
Spotracprojects the market value for the 29-year old slugger at six years, $128 million. If he lands something around those numbers, it will certainly make that look like a pretty wise decision on his part.
The decision comes just a day after Reds general manager Nick Kralltold reporters that "going into 2022, we must align our payroll to our resources and continue focusing on scouting and developing young talent from within our system.”
While he was not referring to Castellanos, and the Reds probably would've been thrilled to have him continue to play on his previous contract, it may be a hint that he's heading elsewhere in the weeks to come.
Nick Castellanos broke into the Majors at 21 years old back in 2013, as a member of the Detroit Tigers. He played in Detroit until 2019, when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs in July. The following January, he signed his deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
Through nine seasons, he's made an estimated $43.9 million. He'll have the chance to really add to that fortune this offseason on the open market.
His defensive struggles may hurt his overall value a bit. He's far below average out in the field, but his skill with the bat should still make him one of the top free agents on the market.