C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that the Cincinnati Reds have a multi-year contract with outfielder Nick Castellanos. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com is reporting that the deal is a 4-year agreement. And now Jon Heyman of MLB Network is reporting that there are opt-outs after the first and second year for Castellanos.
Sources tell me @Ken_Rosenthal that #Reds have a multi-year deal for OF Nicholas Castellanos
— C. ???????????? (@ctrent) January 27, 2020
The Cincinnati Reds set out to spend money this offseason. The front office stated that they planned to have a new high payroll and they’ve gone out and tried to make that happen. Assuming the reporting from Jon Heyman of MLB Network is correct, Castellanos is getting $16M per year, which would push the payroll to the $141,000,000 mark, give or take a few thousand.
The offseason has watched the Reds hit free agency with a fury that they’ve never shown before. They were heavily involved in trying to land both Yasmani Grandal and Zach Wheeler, but ultimately came up short in both of those deals. But they did go out and land Mike Moustakas, inking him to the largest free agent contract in franchise history, and it wasn’t remotely close. Among position players it was more than three times larger than any they had ever signed before – though that was more about how sad their attempts had been in the past at signing free agents.
The team then followed up the Moustakas signing by picking up their first Japanese player, agreeing to a 3-year deal with Shogo Akiyama. That deal was the second largest ever given to a position player in free agency by the organization, trailing just the one given to Moustakas. To help their rotation, the team then picked up Wade Miley on a multi-year deal.
Unsatisfied with where they were, the team continued to try and improve their lineup. Rumors were that they had offer a multi-year deal to Marcell Ozuna, but he turned it down for a 1-year deal with Atlanta. The focus then moved to Nick Castellanos. And for the fourth time in the offseason, the Reds front office came through and landed what they wanted.
The Reds plan was to get the offense this offseason. And Nicholas Castellanos is the ice cream to follow the cake. Adding Mike Moustakas and Shogo Akiyama gave the Reds more power and more on-base ability to a lineup that needed a little more of both. Adding Castellanos just takes it to the next level. After getting out of the cavernous ballpark in Detroit last season at the trade deadline and joining the Cubs, the right-handed hitter just destroyed National League pitching – hitting .321/.356/.646. On the season he had 58 doubles, three triples, and 27 home runs. In the last four seasons he’s hit .286/.336/.504, good for a 120 OPS+.
He is entering his prime – he won’t turn 28 until after the start of spring training games. And the Cincinnati Reds just locked him up for multiple seasons. The question will remain for now as to how the Reds will manage the playing time for everyone, but having too many options beats the heck out of the alternative for David Bell.
This story has been updated multiple times as it continues to develop with more information.
Photo of Nicholas Castellanos by Rick Briggs. Photo has been modified slightly to fit the ratio of the site. License can be found here.
Awesome! looking like a Reds October!
Many of my fellow Brown’s fans were putting aside money for their playoff tickets a few weeks before training camp last summer and now we know how that turned out. I tried to warn them but they ended the season on suicide watch.
Any word on who is DFAed?
As a long-suffering Browns’ fan, I learned long ago to never set aside money for playoff tickets. I take your underlying point, though. This signing is exciting, but we were–many of us–pretty enthusiastic last off-season after the deal with the Dodgers. I’ll control my enthusiasm until we see how all of this works in actual games.
I have no problem with dumping Smith or Antone.
I really like Payton but see a major problem making the team if the roster stands pat.
I really love the acquisiton of Shafer though. I know he had a 3.86 ERA and a 5.18 FIP so seems lucky. Conversely though he had a .484 slugging average against him vs. a .403 xslg. Also wOBP of .355 and xwOBP of .314. Combine them and you have an xOPS of .717 which is really good.
I’d say Payton, mostly because his chances of making the team out of spring continues to shrink. So if he would go back anyways, then why not
Happy Monday people! Never been so pumped! Reds are coming!
I really just don’t understand this. I mean, based on 2 good months last season? As well as, the guy can’t field. And, now, we have even another OF.
There has to be some trade work going on. Or, several players are simply going to be optioned to the minors, DFA’d, or something.
Duke – I don’t think Ervin has an option. Doesn’t change your overall message but is a shame he can’t be stowed away for another year of control.
Senzel can’t stay healthy. Winker can’t hit lefties. Shogo is unproven in this league. And Castellanos can’t play defense.
If you look hard enough, you can find weaknesses in anyone. So, why get another OF?
Many of the current reds outfielders are either hurt or unproven. Castellanos is a great pickup, with his league leading doubles achievement, and he has improved his defense dramatically in the last year. I would also love a trade for a shortstop, such as Lindor, Seager, or realistically Semien or Adames. I love the new offseason offense acquisitions, to go along with our stud starting rotation.
If there are no trades, what does this lineup look like? Can Bell do this and keep players happy?
Winning makes everyone happy
Winning makes fans happy . . . and most players.
Unfortunately, not all are team-first players.
I think roster shakes out like this with a couple places we could see an upgrade. I’m guessing that Castellanos goes to RF and the Winker/Ervin platoon goes to RF. Depending on how Senzel and Akiyama play – that will determine if the Winker/Ervin Platoon gets a lot of playing time. (Considering the platoon as a .900+ OPS, that’s an amazing problem to have). And, frankly, if Winker gets off to a slow start, Aquino should be in a great position to come up hot!
I’m not nearly as concerned now about Galvis and I’d the Reds could sign Holt, I think that would provide an amazing bench and lots of options for David Bell.
I also think the top of AAA options are quite strong and I’m sure they will he needed.
Fingers crossed one or two of the bullpen reclamation projects also works out.
Spring trains should be lit!
Starting Position Players (11)
– 1B Votto
– 2B Moustakas
– SS Galvis UPGRADE
– 3B Suarez
– RF Winker RHP / Ervin LHP / Akiyama
– CF Senzel LHP / Akiyama RHP
– LF Castellanos
– C Barnhart RHP / Casali LHP
– Blandino UPGRADE (SS/IF/OF)
– Farmer (C/IF/OF)
Starting Pitchers (5)
Relief Pitchers (8)
– Lorenzen (OF)
Van Meter IF/OF
Senzel plays against LHP only? Rethink that one.
YES!!! This is what I have been waiting for. Now, is it too much to ask if they could bundle a handful of top guys to land a top notch SS?
Agree, Linkster. SS and relief pitching. Oh, and don’t forget Brock Holt!
This team is deeeeep.
Getting him in his prime at 16M a year for four years is a price that I’m VERY happy with.
Not sure if more moves are coming (dealing an OF for SS), but wouldn’t be surprised if. The kicker is that Aquino still has options which makes the outfield a little less crowded once the season begins.
If you think that he’s only has two good months, then you are not paying attention. This guy can mash.
I appreciate what the Reds FO have done this offseason. Hopefully we get a division winning team, or a WC winner, and fans fill GABP each game.
Well said. Hopefully, all those who doubted a change in FO commitment can get on board now.
Is this a world series team…not yet, but FO still working.
Heyman just reported that the Reds are still continuing to shop Senzel – take that for what it’s worth.
My take: skepticism.
Out of the 10 OFers on the 40 man, only Senzel and Shogo have any everyday CFer credibility. If they truly want to upgrade SS, I am guessing Winker is the piece with the most value. Winker/Mahle/India is dealing from surplus and is a downright attractive trade package.
You comfortable rolling with Ervin/Janikowski in CF every day if Shogo goes down or is unable to successfully transition to MLB? I feel infinitely less good about our postseason chances if that were the case. However, if you deal Winker and either Castellanos or Shogo goes down, you still have 3 legitimate (Aqunio/Ervin/VanMeter) corner OFers who can successfully platoon.
Agree, Craig. Is there a SS still available?
Maybe trade Votto to Toronto where he is from. Votto always starts off so slow and he would probably love playing back home. Then we can play Nic at first base. Just a thought.
And who among us did have OF down as a team strength at the start of the off season?
A number of folks have said (elsewhere) that the Reds should be able to find 500 PAs each for Castellanos, Akiyama, Winker and Senzel.
I’ll take the contrarian view that part of the reason both Akiyama and Castellanos were signed is that the Reds lack confidence that Senzel and Winker can stay healthy enough to take 500 PAs in a season.
Things are going to be very interesting as the Reds work through the pre-season.
And who among us did NOT have OF down as a team strength at the start of the off season?
Jim Walker I am curious if you are the Jim Walker I grew up with in Rushville Indiana ? GO REDS
If they are going to trade Senzel get Lindor instead of Seager.
Story’s numbers away from Coors Field scare me.
I think he will be just fine here.
Going from altitude to sea leave affects the pitches.
So it is hard to adjust all the time.
Look at what DJ Lemahieu did for the Yanks this year.
HE even mentioned this issue.
Colorado is reportedly working on a contract extension and things are close I read either on MLB.com or on TradeRumors.com. If they are extending him they are not going to trade Story.
Initial reports had the Story extension at just two years (his arb years).
So essentially the same money as Moose. Castellanos has a much higher OPS+ over the last 4 seasons………..Moose was an overpay by probably $10million given his age. The Reds kind of jumped the gun there, but I’m quibbling. I love the assertiveness of the front office the last two offseasons and really have no issue with them. I’m a big believer in Dick Williams.
Castellanos was my #1 free agent target, so glad to see the Reds get him, especially when you deny your division rivals in the process. You know the mindset of the team when they arrive in Goodyear will be drastically different. They know they’re good and the weight of expectations will be on their shoulders. I think they have the types who will embrace and thrive off it.
So, now everyone is talking a trade for a SS. Question is, will there be enough in the budget to add him to the payroll?
I’m not sure Castellanos signs with the Reds unless there had been a previous commitment by the FO in signing Moose. Reports earlier this winter said he wasn’t that interested in going to Cincinnati. The change is somewhat due to the fact it’s getting late I would guess but exhibiting a commitment to winning had to help.
Honestly the opt outs make me a little nervous that he might only be here one or two seasons, but here is hoping that he loves it here and wants to stay.
Well it will probably depend on what contracts leave in a trade as well.
I have said for a long time I think the Reds Payroll is around 150 million for this season. Or it will be around there. I’m sure ownership would approve something if we got someone like Lindor or Seager back in return.
Senzel to SS? (Sorry, someone had to be the jerk.)
Enough with Senzel to SS!
I get it, most of us have attributed high value to Senzel, Winker and others. Perhaps the Reds have moved them to MLB too quickly. Perhaps not. But by bringing on major leaguers with established skill sets and adding players who can develop and compete at the AAA level should allow the Reds to sustain competitiveness well into the future.
Reds over Atlanta in the playoffs to show Ozuna he picked the wrong team would be nice.
Akiyama is absolutely being paid like a platoon-y kind of guy.
I think Akiyama platoons at all three positions and does so quite well.
They’re all pricey in March out there. Motel 6’s START at $105 a night during March in the greater Phoenix area.
I’m skeptical of a Senzel trade, for the simple reason that he is in recovery for his shoulder, and any trading partner just does not have enough info to give a full return for him. The Reds would be selling low.
As I’ve said, I think Senzel will miss the start of the season, and the Reds have 6 away games against American League teams before April 20. There will be plenty of early ABs to spread among Aquino, Akiyama, Castellanos and Winker, and more time to evaluate Aquino and Akiyama further. When Senzel comes back, he can play CF but can also spot-start at 2B or 3B, and can play there when Votto sits with either Moose or Suarez playing 1B.
Why do you think Senzel is going to miss the start of the season when there’s absolutely nothing to substantiate it, and word from multiple people in the Reds organization saying there’s no reason at all to think he won’t be ready for opening day?
Doug, I know nothing about Senzel condition, but if someone were going to sell a car would they be saying it’s not in good shape?
I can’t answer for Big, but I expect Senzel to miss the start because this is the Reds were talking about, and that’s what happens to them.
1. Because shoulder injuries almost always take more recovery time than is advertised. See Schebler, Scott; Kearns, Austin; and Ludwick, Ryan.
2. I saw the video of him playing catch, and his motion was extremely stiff, even tossing about 60 feet away. The season opens in just 59 days.
3. It is the smart move. When in doubt, let him heal fully; else you risk his (a) re-injuring it, and/or (b) getting off to a slow start and then pressing all year.
I hope that I am wrong and that he is throwing like Ken Caminiti on March 26, but my guess is that he stays in Arizona, does a rehab stint in Louisville, and is activated a few weeks into the season.
Airbnb is the way to go.
Castellanos has an opt out option after the 1st year.
Which would have been a hard “no” for me. Especially if I’m considering trading either of my cost-controlled young guys (Winker & Senzel). You’ve got to stick around for me. I’d have been ok with the opt-out after 2021. I would have even offered a larger buy-out on his option year and/or a slightly higher AAV to avoid that opt-out after 2020.
I appreciate the reds FO trying to bring a winning team to the city. I usually go to 20 games a year. I will try to go to at least 25 this year! go reds!
The Reds might be ok with a one year opt out. Aquino has one more option left so they stash him in AAA. If Bauer and DeSclafani both leave via free agency this team will look much different in 2021. Win in 2020 and then make adjustments for 2021.
The free agent class looks loaded and we should have a couple of pitchers getting close. I’d love to see them work a deal for Lindor or Betts, but you shouldn’t overpay to the extent that it wrecks the future.
Stay in the Tempe/Scottsdale area. Prices are pretty reasonable around there. It’s a big city so hotels aren’t going to be particularly cheap. You could also stay in Mesa but that’s easily a 45min+ drive out to Goodyear.
They are not going to get a shortstop better than Galvis for Aquino or Ervin. To get value, you have to give up value.
Nothing like trying to add offense then doing it and then trading away your best offensive piece.
Castellanos has an opt out after this season. Trading Senzel right now would be a disaster. He’s a key piece to the teams future. His trade value is probably the lowest it’s been since he was drafted also considering he just had surgery and didn’t have the rookie campaign that the hype would’ve suggested.
This is a thoroughly correct opinion. Castellanos, if he has a good year, is almost certainly going to opt out, because he will get more on the open market after next year than 3 years @ $16 million/year. So, you have to assume that Castellanos is a 1-year rental.
I actually think that most of the trade chatter about Senzel is coming from other teams’ interest in him, even if he hasn’t fully recovered, as opposed to the Reds’ actively shopping him.
The Reds get to QO him if he opts out. Unless the NL adds the DH or his fielding improves, he will be a suspect corner outfielder with a draft pick attached and similar market value to this year (albeit a year older). He has been a good hitter, but not an elite one, and corner outfielders have been valued more harshly in recent off seasons. I’m not sure the opt out is clear cut. That said, I’ll root for him to explode and exercise the option so that we have a lot to root for in 2020.
Clearly, there was a compromise on both sides of the deal. Castellanos got essentially a one-year deal with long-term protection for him in the event he has a bad year this coming year or suffers a major injury. He got essentially the 2020 deal that Ozuna got, but got $48 million in guaranteed protection if he chooses to bypass the opt-out. The Reds found a way to sign the best bat currently available to finish the #getthehitting and create a definite contender for 2020.
I agree Tom.
I like all the moves the Reds have done thus far and I think now they can think trade if they truly feel they need a backup to Galvis or thinking of a trade for a starting SS. I really don’t think Lindor or Story will be available. Seager is an interesting name as is Semien.
The Reds have put them in a position to trade from a surplus in a couple of areas for a need. The Hot Stove season is not over yet but we are now on a path for the Hunt to a Reds October. Go Reds!!!
I think the 202 expansion is complete which should make rush hour a little better. That loop will take a ton of people off the 10 and the 17 through Central Phoenix.
Fantastic addition. If Castellanos does opt out the Reds can make a QO and recoup a pick. FO is knocking this offseason out of the park. Figure out how to swap a surplus of OF guys for a SS and it’s the cherry on top.
Agreed. And he would have to have a pretty terrific season to want to opt-out, since he will be a year older and have a draft pick attached, and I am happy to root for that.
I think Votto will be rested regularly. Castellanos can play 1B right? He used to play 3B so I assume he can play 1B. They should experiment with everyone at different positions during spring. The well Bell likes to use his bench I see playing time for everyone and lots of mixing and matching based on pitching match ups. Perhaps we hide Winker in AAA and let him destroy down there to skyrocket his trade value until a shortstop comes along, unless they plan to over bid for Lindor right now, which seems likely to be honest.
If WInker goes to AAA he can play everyday against both lefties and righties which helps him in the long run and also improves his trade value. Pretty sure he can hit lefties if given the opportunity.
I do not like the opt-out after 1 year even presuming that it is by Castellanos … although it is very likely that it was an unfailing condition for him to take the contract for playing with the reds…This make a Senzel trade very risky..
I’d Trade Senzel for Willy Adames at SS.
The Reds would trade a solid player for a solid SS. Galvis goes back to super sub. And, the outfield has a Winker/Ervin/Aquino platoon at RF, Akiyama in CF, and Castellanos in LF. That ain’t bad, for the times when Aquino and Winker catch on fire. Ervin mashes LHP and can back Akiyama in CF. It’s only bad if Akiyama goes down.
I wouldn’t make a trade preseason. Use Aquino’s option and send him to AAA. The group the reds have now is already the best in the NL central. It’ll be much easier to get someone at SS if you still need it at the deadline.
I agree to an extent that Bell could be the weak link of the club right now. But I do feel he made some improvements last year as the season progressed. I felt he became more ” conventional” and was more aggressive with the paly calling as the season wore on.
Bell will without a doubt be the weak link. My opinion is that he over manages and wants to be the center of attention. Double switches out the starting lineup way too early and is out of players at crunch time. At least Peraza is no longer around. Its seems funny that everyone thinks Senzel can’t play shortstop, but were ok with Mr. Clutch Pereza there.
Looks like he has opt outs after years 1 and 2.
That’s what MLB Trade Rumors is reporting. Good deal for him and the Reds. If he opts out, use his $16 million to sign another free agent outfielder next offseason.
Opt outs, if executed, are also eligible for QO, so draft pick comp for Reds possible.
If you trade Senzel, you still have either Ervin or Jankowski to back up CF, I understand that both have weaknesses but if you can add an everyday bat at SS that more than makes up for a bench player that will probably be used to PH or as a defensive replacement most of the time. Trading Senzel does not weaken us for the future, and just because there is an opt out clause doesn’t mean that Castellanos will use it. This is a glass mostly filled scenario as opposed to a glass half empty scenario.
I don’t think we can say that trading Senzel doesn’t weaken us for the future.
Should have said, does not “necessarily” weaken us for the future.
I agree fully. Why be in a hurry to trade Senzel? I’d be hard pressed to part with Winker +prospects for Seager, much less Senzel + anyone. The guy is coming off his 1st season and learning a new position at that. I also saw him making strides in CF as the year went on. Senzel is a future All-star player and I mean sooner rather than later. It doesn’t hurt the Reds to have too much OF depth and what happens after 2020 when you don’t have Senzel or Castellanos? You have 1 year left of a SS maybe?
A good move. I thought, months ago, that Castellanos was the best of the available outfielders to strengthen the Red’s offense. More action to come centering on shortstop. Quite an offseason for the front office putting the rebuild to rest.
I keep seeing people assume platooning means benching.
Castellanos in my mind makes an obvious platoon option with Winker, starting the 30% or so of games in which we face a lefty. Doesn’t mean that Castellanos can’t then slide over and play an additional 60%+ of starts in the other corner spot when facing righties. I’m not saying this is necessarily the best way to deploy him, but I think it makes a lot of sense.
Castellanos, Winker, Senzel, and Shogo, can all co-exist. There are enough innings to go around, especially knowing that Winker HAS to be platooned. Give Castellanos 90% of corner OF innings (yes, a third of which comes as a platoon partner with Winker), Winker 70% of corner OF innings against righties, Senzel 70% of CF innings, and Shogo the remaining 70%. Our outfield stays healthy, stays fresh, accommodates for injuries, allows for defensive replacements and smarter double shifts, provides more advantageous PH match-ups, and allows us operating efficiencies that I don’t believe Reds management have fully embraced in the past.
Okay this is not a spreadsheet or a video game they’re real consequences to platooning players. Some guys take to it just fine and other guys it destroys their career. You need practice to be good at something and when you take away 150 200 at-bats from a player he might not be as good. Most of the good teams had everyday players last year. That doesn’t mean the reds are out of options here. They can give Nick more time in the minors to bounce back from surgery. They can also give him some starts in the infield. One of the things that make great teams great is lots of depth. This gives them that if the manage it right. Yeah the platoons could work and it could be great or it could be a complete disaster. There’s also a pretty good chance that one of these guys will get hurt
We stayed at a La quinta near the Brewers Maryville facility (51st avenue iirc). Like the BW mentioned already, it’s not glitzy, but was reasonably priced, some good local food choices nearby (pepe’s fiesta del sol or LuLu’s). Rooms were clean, staff friendly, and many other BB fans too taking advantage of it.
We drove to our baseball destinations off-peak and just stayed put once we got where we were going to watch MiLB camp, BP, or visit gear shops.
BP before an evening game at Goodyear was fun to watch. Its at one of the training fields, a bit removed from the parking area, but worth the walk as you could retrieve tater balls quite easily for inexpensive souvenirs.
FYI. Most facilities (baseball or other attractions) would not let you bring in full water bottles, but we were welcome to bring empties and fill at the water fountains.
Obviously a trade involving a SS is in the works. Would be interesting to see a poll about who the Reds wind up with.
Don’t vote your heart (who you prefer) Vote your gut (who you think they actually acquire). My gut tells me Seager, although as most I prefer Lindor
I think Other,
I doubt the Dodgers trade Seager unless they get Linor.
(Lux may not be quite ready for championship caliber team)
Cle had said no trade for Lindor
The Rox are trying to make Nolan happy, and trading Story guarantees Nolan opts out after 2021.
not sure about Simian.
Story is getting close to signing a multi year deal with the Rockies so take him off your list.
Other. Wily Adames. Tampa’s top prospect and MLBs top prospect is a shortstop. It will take less to get him than Lindor.
Willy Adames…tell me more.
Would he be a good return for Senzel in other’s eyes?
Looks like he’s a 5 WAR batting player to Senzel’s 0.6 WAR at any rate.
4.2 not 5
I believe I read that TB has three SS prospects that are rated top 100, including #1 overall Franco plus the young controllable Adames on the ML squad. Seems like there’s a match to be made.
Holt or roll with Galvis is my expectation.
Marte should be on this list
With Senzel blocked from the infield and an excess of outfielders, I see Seager to the Reds and Senzel to the Indians as was talked about a couple months ago.
I like this signing, but lets not kid ourselves, or anyone else. This is a 1 year contract.
Very True, but a 1 year at 16 is still not bad.
Put a QO on it, if he ops out.
IMO, the front office has adopted a strategy in which players who have only one year of contract control are okay. Look at Puig, Kemp, Bauer and now Castellanos. This is one way to get big-name players on your team without having to commit to a Rendon-like (or, Votto-like) contract. If they leave, go find someone similar to plug in for the following year or two. (Essentially, that’s what’s happened with Puig and Castellanos.)
This is one way to be competitive when your farm system is not producing starting position players.
Yes, this. And given that he would have a draft pick attached and be a year older, he would have to have a pretty great season to opt out.
Another dumb move locking up a slightly above average player who is going to be below average by the time the contract expires. If the Reds end up trading Senzel because of this signing it will cement the Reds front office as being one of the worst in the majors. There is a reason the smart front offices stayed away from signing the middle tier free agents. Seems like the Reds are suckers once again.
Funny thing is I had faith in DW when he first came aboard with his talk of relying on advanced stats and player development but it seems like he is an old school guy trying to buy his way into a one or two year window. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Reds giving up the farm for 2 years of Lindor or Seager.
Locking up what? The guy is most likely going to only be here 1 or maybe 2 years at most. He is not even 28 years old yet and in his prime, who played in a huge ballpark for most of his career so far, and has been 20% better than the average player for the past 3 seasons. His biggest problem is his defensive ability but he has been improving slightly.
Good players help you get good players that play different positions normally in trades. Senzel yes, has great potential but so far we have no seen it at the major league level. Injuries have been an issue for him.
The Reds are using advanced stats a lot more did you see all of the shifts they used last year. Did you see all of the players that were working with new batting stances and were looking at video and stats to help them hit differently. Also at this point we can’t guess what the future will bring and I did notice that next years free agent class is much better than this years. I personally would love to see Lindor. Yes its only a few seasons but would you rather have the last 6 seasons of losing.
Lets live for today and be happy our team is making an effort to us as the fans to make a better team THIS YEAR, not 4 years from now.
At 8 million per year, he only has to be a 3 WAR player to (more than) pay off from a free agent signing calculus. It is easy to predict that Castellanos will produce 12 WAR in 4 seasons. He has already been doing it and is in his prime. There are reasons to argue that you would have preferred a different use of dollars or another signing, but calling the Reds FO ‘suckers’ for committing $64 million over 4 seasons to a better than average player (and much better than average hitter, which the team could use) is off-base.
$16 million per year; not sure why I wrote 8.
It’s a player opt out meaning that if he is good he can opt out. If he sucks then the Reds are going to be stuck with him for 4 years.
ZIPS has him projected for 8 WAR in his 4 years here. Steamer has him at 1.5 WAR for 2020. Not sure why you think it’s easy to predict him having 12 WAR. And ya the Reds are suckers because the good front offices aren’t giving multiple year contracts for average/slightly above average players anymore.
Using Fangraphs WAR. The odds of him becoming a player that ‘sucks’ is very low and would be an outlier at his age and injury history. Yes, it is a small risk.
Off the top of my head, I know McCutcheon signed a 3 year deal at $17 million per year with the Phillies last year; he had averaged 2.5 WAR per season the 3 previous seasons (a little above average) and he was clearly in decline at the age of 32 (paying him through his age 34 season).
You’re missing the main point. The Reds are not going to get value out of this deal for multiple years. Best case scenario for the Reds is if he has a monster year and then opts out. If he performs at the 2 WAR he is being paid or worse he is going to stay. So basically, the Reds have locked themselves into Castellanos for four years if he is average to bad but only have him for one or two years if he is good.
Add on top of that, they might trade Senzel now that they feel they have a glut of outfielders and you can see why I don’t like this signing. If you are in the “trade the future for a 1-2 window” camp then ya I can see this being a good signing. I, personally, would prefer to see a gradual build set up for a sustained run ala the Dodgers.
I don’t believe that I am missing the point, and I said I think it is possible to have different takes about this signing. My point is that you used this signing to note that you have gone from having faith in the newer front office to losing that faith and thinking they are suckers. My point is that your take is way too negative. This FO used metrics and value-based thinking to make the deal.
Yes, I like the signing. I do not love it nor do I think it is amazing. I think it is a reasonable bet both short and long term that improves the team in 2020 without expending any prospect capital, which is good.
They have made one bad trade after another trading prospects for 1 year rentals. They are giving slightly above average free agents 4 year contracts when no one else is. Not sure what kind of advanced metrics they are using but they haven’t been receiving much value in their free agent signings. As a matter of fact, they have been overpaying in both dollars and years. They went from having a top ten farm system and a decent starting rotation to a team desperately making moves for a one or two year window. If you think they are doing a good job I hate to see who you think is doing a bad job.
Citizen, I’ not sure why you say they had a decent pitching staff; it was the worst pitching staff in baseball from 2016-18 (near the bottom every year, at the bottom when the 3 years are aggregated). They improved it into one of the better staffs in baseball, partly through this FO making trades. No, all the trades haven’t worked out, and we will see if their contrarian strategy nets gains over time.
The other strategy they are subscribing to is that getting better and more competitive will lead to more winning, both because it helps the players on the roster, and also because it puts more fans in the seats (and related revenue production), which leads to more resources available to keep improving. Again, this reasoning may prove to be getting too much emphasis by this FO, but there is logic to it. And it will result in a more fun team to root for in 2020, as well.
good signing. Will be interesting what occurs next with all the OFs on the roster and quite a few without options whom are thought to be the OF players near the end of the 40 man roster are also out of options, ie. Schebler, Ervin.
My guess is that Schebler will be waived or JVM optioned without a trade for the roster spot.
Lindor for Senzel and the others mentioned would put the team in the 158 mil range. Unless the team is really going to blow out the salary range for a year or two. If they think the windows is 2020 and 2021 that may be the result after the years of loosing.
Seager for Senzel and the others mentioned would put the team in the 148 mil range, that seems like it may be more likely.
I would hate to see Senzel be traded because he has so much talent but if the Reds are ready to move on so be it. I am not sold on Akiyama as an everyday CF and leadoff hitter as that seems like as big a risk as a Senzel injury risk is for a successful 2020.
Schebler certainly has a better MLB resume than Jankowski. Never understood the Jankowski pick-up anyway. Shebler is more valuable.
Jankowski’s value is that he is an actual center-fielder, he was brought in to be used as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.
We don’t have any players because Williams and co is enamored with players close to free agency that other teams want to get rid of. We have given up three top 100 prospects and all we have to show is one year of Bauer and Farmer. The only good trade the Reds have made under Williams so far is the Sonny Gray deal and that trade was only good because Gray agreed to sign an extension.
The Reds are scrapping the rebuild and are now deciding to go all in for a 2 year run at best. Things aren’t set up for a sustained run. After that we are going to be the Reds 2015-2018 with no relief in sight. Funny thing is the people that are applauding these free agency signings and possible Senzel trade are going to be the same ones complaining about the Reds sucking and being too old a couple of years from now.
I think I understand your point more than
From your side: The Reds have had one good stretch this century (2010-2014). Hate to break it to you all, but its 2020. We are already a fifth through this century and 4 of 20 aint so good. Trading top prospects needs to start netting more in return otherwise there will be huge lulls as we have seen.
Another side: I’m 30 and have seen but two, maybe three stretches of competing Reds baseball. So if 2 years of possible playoffs and maybe, just maybe a WS for another 6 years of miserly, then sign me up.
Show me any mid market or low market teams that sustain a playoff run for more than 3 years. I’ll answer that, There are very few in the last 50 years.
The only teams during that time with the exception of maybe 1 to 3 teams during the past 50 years have had more than 3 years of playoff baseball. Big market teams have an easier time doing it since they have the money to throw at anyone… But even now you see some of those teams trying to be more careful so they don’t exceed the luxury tax, actually trading for prospects.
This is what the Red Sox are probably trying to do and the Dodgers have done the past few years and Even the Yankees have been trying to rebuild their farm systems. It takes time and a little dumb luck getting the right players to draft and develop them. Sure some teams have a good track record.. Houston, Miami, Oakland, San Diego just a name a few but it always seems like those teams are rebuilding and never get that team that is going to win for more than 3 years at a time.
Oakland and Tampa Bay are currently set up nicely for 3+ years runs. 2020 payrolls: Oakland $85 mil and Tampa Bay $55 mil.
You’re still living in the past. Teams are going away from signing average free agents to long contracts. The game is getting younger.
Jeter Downs for one. You know the 50 FV ss that is now a top100 prospect in the Dodgers organization. Then there is Josiah Gray another top 100 prospect. The last one is Taylor Trammel. After that who knows. There is talk that the Reds are shopping Senzel.
Also I like like your snarky comment against the Ray’s and the A’s as if they should be shamed for making the playoffs with a low payroll. I wouldn’t expect old school fans to understand that the dynamics of baseball have changed. Let me guess you still look at RBIs as a meaningful stat.
1st off – Nick Senzel has NOT been traded. This is all speculation.
2nd – Castellanos is a terrific ballplayer for whom we did not trade any young players! I have watched Castellanos develop in Detroit, flourish in Chicago and I believe he will do the same in Cincy. I also am so much happier with him than Marcell Ozuna – talk about a poor fielder, that guy could not catch a fly ball late last year (the guy can hit but go back & watched missed flies, poorly played ball & weak arm).
3rd – It takes a decade to turn around a farm system – especially in what has been a historically “bottom 10” farm system. Are the Reds making progress in that area? No way to know other than the words we hear on changes in scouting, top-to-bottom pitching philosophy, additional international scouts, improved focus on nutrition & health, better use of metrics, etc. It will take 10 years to develop a Twins, Braves, Padres type organization.
Tom M. mentioned earlier that 1-year deals are helping with immediate competitiveness. There is an NL Central window of opportunity – a 1-4 year deal is a smart move for a solid ML hitter.
I recommend we take a breath and proceed with Galvis/Blandino/Farmer and see how the season progresses. Plus, I agree that Senzel needs time to properly heal.
Just 2 years ago we went into Spring training with the worst pitching staff in baseball, no organizational plan & a rebuild theme. Now we are considered the front-runner in the NL Central. Competitive baseball is back in Cincy!
I’m inclined to keep Senzel. There’s time to find the right deal. I’m calling around and seeing what a package of India+Santillan+Fairchild+Aquino OR Ervin gets me.
Next 3 moves to complete the offseason. Senzel, Galvis, Mahle and India to Cleveland for Lindor. Winker, Santillan, Jankowski and Romano to Pittsburgh for Marte. Sign Holt. With Castellanos signing, there are 3 roster spots remaining. Aquino, VanMeter and DeLeon start year in Louisville for max PT. DeLeon as starter. NRIs Raley, Jones, Carpenter, Thornburg, Biddle, Powers and Alaniz compete for 2 remaining bullpen spots along with those already on the 40 man roster. Keep 1-3 roster spot(s) open for possible addition of Gutierrez, Naughton or Lodolo. Lineup of Lindor, JV, Suarez, Moose, Castellanos, Marte, Akiyama and Barnhart. Bench is Casali, Farmer, Holt, Ervin and Payton. We’ve gone this far already, so record budget gives best chance of winning the next 2 years.
Record payroll, not budget
Forget about Marte, just got traded to the D-Backs. Wow, thought it would take more to get him. The Reds could’ve put together a better package to get him. Reds keep Senzel and package Winker instead to the Indians?
Isn’t the risk with Marte that he’ll miss time being suspended if they catch him again?
Great signing. Not sure why projection systems are cutting his WAR in half. Greatly improved defense in his 2nd year in the OF. I think he will be an average defensive RF next year. The Reds join the Phillies and Nationals with 2 of the top 10 FA signings this winter (my book)
Rank Player Years Amount Team
1 Miley 2 15 Reds
2 Grandal 4 73 White Sox
3 Rich Hill 1 3 Twins
4 Wheeler 5 118 Phillies
5 Castellanos 4 64 Reds
6 Didi 1 14 Phillies
7 Hudson 2 11 Nationals
8 Jimmy Nelson 1 1.5 Dodgers
9 Starlin Castro 2 12 Nationals
10 Cole 9 324 Yankees
I think the Reds should make a deal with AZ that they can’t refuse.
Ketel Marte/Carson Kelly (fill the two major holes in the team at the beginning of the winter)
Senzel, Barnhart, Tyler Stephenson, Tyler Mahle, Romano, Greene, Santillan and India. Add more if necessary. (VanMeter, Fairchild, …)
Only Castellanos is not locked into a contract for at least 4 years so losing Senzel, India and other position players does not hurt long term. It would be nice to extend DeSclafani because the Reds have a 2021 need at SP and only Lodolo potentially ready.
Naughton and/or Santillan should “potentially” be ready by 2021, if not before.
Doesn’t matter now for this deal. AZ just added the other Marte. I don’t think they would trade for one and then trade the other.
Focus should be on Lindor. Probably not until July I think. His value goes down because Cleveland drops to 3rd and Senzel, India, … have more value.
In fact come July i think a
Senzel/India/Santillan/Robert Stephenson for
Lindor/Hand trade works.
Arizona thinks it can make the playoffs, and was only 4 games away last year. Arizona isn’t going to trade a 6.9 bWAR player at age 26.
Ketel Marte is one of the best players in baseball, a fact that is not lost on the Diamondbacks. He also is on a ridiculously team-friendly deal. He may well have the single most valuable contract in baseball.
There is no possible scenario where he winds up on the Reds this year.
Galvis is a decent shortstop. Senzel is young, cost-controlled, and has a skill-set well suited to predictable improvement. Nick is also the team’s best prospect since Jay Bruce, and his trade value is lower now than it likely will be. Trading him for 1-2 years of someone is foolish. Galvis is adequate, and late innings defensive replacement guys are available for peanuts.
Keep Senzel. Castellanos’ contract is a glorified 1-2 year deal. The only way the Reds pat the life of it is if he’s injured or plays like crap the next two seasons. And the whole Winker platoon thing is irritating because Winker did just fine against lefties pre-David Bell. Use Winker to spell Votto at first, and keep him. He’s one of the 5 or 6 best hitters on the roster.
Galvis reputed to be better than decent defensively. He’s got some pop, but doesn’t get on base often enough. I wouldn’t trade Senzel and a bunch of other talent to avoid having Galvis play short this year. The Reds probably have a lot of hitting now, so Galvis could bat 8th or 9th and they’d still score plenty of runs.
He’s above-average defensively, which would have been good enough in bygone eras. But these days, anyone who doesn’t hit is seen as a liability — at least on a team that aspires to be a contender.
I would prefer that they hang on to Lil Senzii, but who knows?
Winker struggled against LHP in AAA too. This isn’t Bell’s fault. I would like to see him get more of a chance against LHP too but if you’re going for the division title, I think a platoon with Ervin is the way to go.
You are quick to dismiss the idea of Senzel moving to shortstop, saying that the Reds would have already made the move. I think you might be discounting the context in which Senzel has been a member of the team, however. Going into last year, we had a potential long term answer at SS in Peraza. He was coming off of a promising year and he was a young, former top pedigree prospect. We also had a need in CF. Finally, we also had a second basemen (Gennett) that was in the last year of his contract, meaning Senzel had a projected opening at 2b in 2020. Factoring in this context, I hardly think it was a foregone conclusion that Senzel would have already been moved to SS if he could play the position. If they don’t move him there this year, your reasoning would absolutely apply as we now have a glut of outfielders and a significant need at shortstop. All of this ignores scouting and how he has performed at SS in the past, as I can’t knowledgeably comment on that.
Because Senzel would be here much longer than Lindor and would possibly provide more value. Because the rest of the package would have to include serious talent. Because there are questions about many of the current outfielders, including the other centerfielder, and Castellanos could easily be gone after this season.
1st round pick not just a little. Wouldn’t have wanted to give up Lodolo or India plus something else.
This is not a particularly good defensive team. I think a couple of moves are coming still. Should be a decent offensive team.
Wow!! I ‘ve been calling for Castellanos for atleast 2 years now….maybe 3. I read somewhere at the time that he led baseball in 390+ ft outs (or 380 ft?). Thats not only a plus for us, but it has to hurt the Cubs. He killed it for them! Now what to do with Senzel and Winker?
What if the Reds talked to the White Sox about Winker for LH reliever Aaron Bummer. 67 ip, 43 hits, 4 hrs, 60k, 24 walks, and he’s only 26. I like Garrett, but he’s better. The Reds pen seems pretty thin as it sits now.
Don’t trade potentially very productive position players for bullpen arms. The value just isn’t there.
Reds dfa Siri. Good to see he won’t be supplying kool aid to Reds fans anymore. He was not a top 20 prospect in my book, and clearly not in the Reds’ list either.
I’m really surprised that they dfa’d Siri over Jankowski and Payton. Siri at least could have been sent to Louisville. Neither of these guys can be optioned, and I can’t see either one making the team, much less both of them.
He was never much of a prospect. Great defender whose hit tool was abysmal. Doug had him pretty high still but clearly the Reds’ internal rankings didn’t value him very high.
Payton doesn’t cost much of anything. $25K if he is sent back. Jankowski’s had some success the last couple years and his arb contract is not guaranteed if he fails to make the club. It would not make sense to cut either one before Spring Training unless you desperately need a 40 man spot.
Yeah, this makes no sense to me, especially after moving Trammell. Reds farm system has gotten even more thin. Not sold on him by any means but still a prospect where Jankowski just is what he is.
Pretty good return for one year of Marte. He’s a nice player but not a star of any sort. They got a 2019 1st rounder and another top 10 in Arizona’s system.
OF is too crowded. More moves are coming.
Possible Castellanos would opt out after year 1, then accept the QO. The angle there is that after year 2 with the Reds, they can’t offer him QO again. So no draft pick compensation attached to him after year 2. However if he waits to opt out after year 2, can’t work it that way. Probably the genius of Boras to work it that way with 2 opt outs.
And as Tom mentioned earlier, the overall contract is basically a one year deal for $16M with a $48M insurance policy.
Castellanos has been improving his glove work incrementally over the last 4 years. Should he peak offensively this year (as his age suggests) and his glovework finally goes to average (a longshot, but who knows), we could see a 5-6 WAR season from this guy.
It is this scenario that would generate his opt-out. But if Castellanos goes off for 5-6 WAR … maybe him hitting some doubles in October on the banks of the Ohio river would make it all worth it!
Remember when Bowden posted we should trade Winker/Mahle/India for Marte? This is why he isn’t employed by a front office anymore.
I don’t see the Reds getting Lindor or Seager at this point. So how can you get the most out of the players we already have.
4 man outfield Castellanos/Winker/Shogo/Aquino there’s about 500 AB’s each if they gave equal opportunity, but obviously equal is unlikely
5 man infield Votto/Moustakes/Galvis/Suarez/Senzel there’s about 520 AB’s each…
Maybe Senzel doesn’t have to be a gold glove SS for 162, maybe just a passable one for 32 games. Senzel can spend the majority of his time at 2B 98 games, and Moustakes can spell Suarez and Votto.
I don’t know if it’s crazy or not
Could a 4-man outfield also suppress his stats enough to make him opt-out less likely? But if so, then is his salary too much? The balance there will be up to Bell, if they don’t trade Senzel.
But by trading Senzel, they’re guaranteeing him something like 550 PAs, thus increasing his chances he’ll opt out.
The room is spinning. Who cares… go Redlegs!
“Funny thing is the people that are applauding these free agency signings and possible Senzel trade”
Funny how some fans overvalue “prospects” and even ignore a guy like Senzel’s pattern of various injuries….meanwhile a guy like NC actually abuses NL pitching and he’s slightly better then average.
Personally I’m tired of building for the future. The future is now. These guys will get them thru Joey’s billion/year contract and they can deal with that mountain of cash to field a new team then. Worst case scenario is that they continue to suck so what exactly do we stand to lose?
What about Carter Kieboom for Nick Senzel swap? They need a 3rd baseman and we need a SS? Or Winker plus for Semien? Bean loves obp guys.
Ditto, I was reading all these posts and thinking the same thing .Senzel for Kieboom.it makes a lot of sense. There in need of a 3rd baseman for now and the future,we need a ss for now and the future. Perfect trade.
I’m sure they are entertaining the thought of sliding Tatis over since some folks think he’s better suited to 3B defensively in the future.
I will put it this way.
Unto itself, I don’t like this signing. I will attempt to explain.
Does it increase our talent? Sure. But, we already had a “good problem” in the OF already, with too many OF’s. So, adding one more is suppose to solve that problem? Of course not.
Hopefully, there is a trade coming soon that relieves our OF quandry some. For, I really don’t mind of Nick plays or doesn’t play, even though I don’t think he can field. But, no team would be able to operate with this many OF’s.
Steve, I think there are a lot of possibilities – too many to put into one post. Your take is one perspective (and it’s a reasonable one, I may add). I think of it as making them better now, particularly in a raising-the-floor sense (going on track record, he is one of the best hitters on the team). They can push Aquino back to AAA for a little while and see how he continues to progress or regress. Ervin is a 4th or 5th outfielder on a good team, and he can 5th here in 2020. Akiyama may or may not adjust to MLB pitching; if he does, great, he can be a starter in this outfield. If he doesn’t quite get there, he is the 4th guy.
The biggest place this may help is in a trade, but who knows when or if that can happen (may take until the trade deadline to sort out and get good value returns on a SS or other asset).
In the meantime, the biggest area may be in depth, with Castellanos the guy to spell Votto at 1st for a set of games, and the replacement if JV deals with an injury for any length of time (and he is 36, afterall, so it’s more likely). The team may not want to take a young Senzel and move him all over the field (ala Zobrist), but he would be the top choice to move to either 2B or 3B in the event of a significant injury there. And given the history of NS and JW, there may be plenty of playing time available in the outfield afterall.
Or, I will even put my post this way. We have/had questions that needed to be answered during the off season. One was “We need bats”. Does Nick give us that? Of course.
However, during the off season, we had another question develop, what are we going to do with all the OF’s? Adding another OF to that mix, part of me just can’t agree with that. Again, I did say only “part of me”.
So, I will even say, I would sign Nick, but not without other moves. Because without those other moves, to help solve the glut of OF’s we have, I can’t say I would be fully with this signing. Accept it? Sure. Tolerate it? Sure. 60% there? Sure. But, fully accept just this move and no other move? I just can’t do that.
If Senzel & Castellanos play significant IF time (1-2 days per week), does this ease the OF glut? I think it will happen and keep the team deep & fresh.
The wild card here is Aquino. Which Aquino comes out of the gate – the “Aug hitter on a tear” or the “Sept struggling rookie”?
As for Jankowski, Payton, Schebler – they must be viewed as insurance or trade-able after the signings of Shogo & Nick.
Gotta agree with the other comments before me. Due to Castellanos’ opt-outs, especially the opt-out after 2020, I have a hard time moving my high-upside and very cost-controlled Mr. Winker & Mr. Senzel. Even if they don’t get a ton of work they provide high-quality depth and will be able to start if Castellanos moves on after 2020. I’d move Winker before I’d move Senzel but I’d only move him in a deal for Seager or Lindor. It doesn’t hurt the Reds to have too many good OF and Galvis is adequate at SS considering the rest of the lineup now.