This morning the Cincinnati Reds introduced their newest outfielder and free agent signing Nick Castellanos at a press conference with the local media. He had just signed a contract for 4-years and $64,000,000 – though he does have the option to opt-out and head to free agency after both the 2020 and 2021 seasons if he chooses.
One of the few things that was asked of Nick Castellanos was what his expectations were for the 2020 season with the Cincinnati Reds. His answer was rather simple: “WIN.”
That was it. That was his entire answer. There’s confidence on just about every professional athlete’s mind that they are going to win. It is tough to get to the highest level of sports without that belief that you are better than the other guy you’re going up against.
Reds fans will certainly be happy if Nick Castellanos expectations become reality. It’s been a tough stretch for Cincinnati Reds baseball lately. The last time the Reds had a winning season was back in 2013. And really, they haven’t come close to having a winning season since, with the 2014 season being the best since and that team was 10 games under .500.
Last offseason the Reds front office made moves to try and get the team back to contention. On paper, the moves looked good. While the projections weren’t quite there to suggest they were a playoff team, the acquisition of Alex Wood, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Kyle Farmer pushed the talent level and projection level into the .500 range. But things didn’t quite work out as planned as Alex Wood missed most of the year and Yasiel Puig had easily the worst offensive season of his career.
This offseason the front office took things to the next level, and did so by hitting free agency with a truckload or three of cash to spend. It began when they signed infielder Mike Moustakas to a franchise record $64,000,000 free agent deal. They followed it up by inking the second largest free agent deal in franchise history for a position player and their first ever Japanese player, signing outfielder Shogo Akiyama early in January. Starting pitcher Wade Miley joined the fold shortly thereafter. And now the organization has matched the Moustakas deal by bringing in Nick Castellanos.
The expectations aren’t just to win from Castellanos. Those are the same expectations from the Reds front office, ownership, management, coaches, and other players. And given how the team has gone out and improved the roster in the last six months – including picking up Trevor Bauer at the trade deadline in 2019, the fans expect the winning to be more than just hope and talk.