Right fielder Nick Castellanos has opted out of his Cincinnati Reds contract and will become a free agent,. He had $34 million and two years remaining on the deal.
Castellanos, 29, signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Reds in January 2020. The contract included clauses allowing him to opt out after the 2020 or 2021 seasons. He chose not to test the free-agent market after last season, saying it wasn’t the right time.
Castellanos hit .225 with a .298 on-base percentage in the 60-game 2020 season with the Reds. He made the all-star team for the first time in 2021 and delivered the best season of his career, hitting .309 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Keith Law, of The Athletic, compiled a list of the 50 best free agents this offseason and ranked Castellanos 11th.
“You could probably sign him to be your first baseman or your DH,” Law wrote, “and end up with more value than he has ever provided before, just by virtue of putting him somewhere he can’t hurt you with his glove. Outside of the outlier 2020 season, he has been a consistent hitter for average with doubles power that turned into home run power this year in Cincinnati (23 of his 34 homers came at home).”
In other moves Thursday, the Reds sent infielder Alex Blandino to Triple-A Louisville and activated pitchers Tejay Antone and Brandon Bailey and infielder/outfielder Nick Senzel from the 60-day injured list.
The Reds traded veteran catcher Tucker Barnhart to the Tigers on Wednesday.
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