Nick Castellanos took home his first Silver Slugger Award on Thursday night. The now former Cincinnati Reds outfielder was one of three outfielders (Juan Soto and Bryce Harper were the others) to get the nod as one of the best offensive outfielders in the National League.
He hit .309/.362/.576 – good for a 136 OPS+. He also crushed 34 home runs, a triple, and had 38 doubles. When it comes to runs, he was all over it. Castellanos scored 95 runs during the season and he drove in 100 in 138 games played.
The 2021 season was a season of firsts for Nick Castellanos. He made the All-Star team for the first time. He picked up a Silver Slugger Award for the first time. His 34 home runs were the first time that he crossed the 30-homer mark in his career.
“It definitely is gratifying anytime you’re recognized for accomplishing something. It feels good. Also, now I just want to do it again,” Nick Castellanos said on Thursday night after finding out that he had won the award.
But it wasn’t so much what Nick Castellanos had to say about his Silver Slugger Award that stood out among his words to the Cincinnati media on Thursday night. It was what he said about free agency, what he wouldn’t say about the Reds, and what he would.
On playing for a contender
“The most important thing I would say is just the relationship I have and the understanding I have of the organization, of the direction that they want to go in,” said Castellanos. “What direction are you going in? Who is a part of your vision? How do you see them as pieces in your vision? How can I assist in growing and aiding said pieces to be better than they are now? How can I make them better in the future? You know, relationships, if you’re paying attention you can definitely get a sense of who aligns with you, the way you think, the way you want to go about your game, the way you take the game, you just begin to understand who kind of aligns with that and who doesn’t.”
On what he wouldn’t say about the Reds
A follow up to the above quote about playing for a contender was asked. The question was: How do the Reds fit into how you feel and know the direction they’ll go?
“I really value the relationships that I have with the staff and the organization, so I feel like to really go and speak on any of my opinions would be inappropriate, really,” he said. “If it ever came to a time where one on one away from media and all this stuff, ask me my opinion, I’d be happy to be honest. But I don’t think the media is the place for that.”
On whether he would entertain a Reds offer
“Of course I would,” Castellanos said. “Why wouldn’t I? I feel like there’s still a lot of valuable pieces that are very good to win with. Jonathan India, Jesse Winker is coming into his own – figuring out who he is, figuring out what kind of father he wants to be, he’s doing a great job at that. Joey Votto just reinvented himself. We still have pitching. We have pieces. Why wouldn’t I entertain it?”