The Cincinnati Reds never even called Nick Castellanos this offseason. At least that’s what he told Jomboy Media’s Chris Rose this morning on The Chris Rose Rotation. Castellanos was on the short for 46 minutes, but around the 34-minute mark Rose asked him about the Reds and what’s going on here. Here’s that specific exchange:

CR: You spent two years in Cincinnati and they loved you there. Now as kind of an outsider is it tough to see what they’re doing?

NC: Well no, it’s not because I didn’t even get a phone call.

CR: What do you mean? The Reds didn’t even call you when you opted out?

NC: No.

CR: Were you disappointed?

NC: I was. So the thing was, I went in with a blank slate. I’m taking all this information in. I don’t want to have a preconceived notion of what it should be. Right? I kind of learned that lesson from my first free agency. This was my second. So once that happened and you kind of see the moves that they made….. they’re cutting payroll, ya know? You started to see that immediately after the 2020 season. And they’re not doing that because they believe in prospects more than the other, it’s because really good guys like Nick Krall are given a certain budget and they’re only able to work with what their budget allows them to do?

CR: Would you have appreciated a call from somebody in the front office who just said “Hey Nick, we love what you’ve done the last two years but we’re not going to be able to afford you.”?

NC: Uh, sure. But I guess, how do you know what you can afford unless you make an offer? And the reason why gestures like that are important is because us as baseball players, we’re out there playing with emotion. I cared about the Reds, I cared about the city of Cincinnati, I cared about the fans that went there every day. Just in return you want to make sure you are cared for as well. But that’s when the business portion really like loses – players can’t rationalize that because we didn’t get here by looking at the game as a business, we got here looking at the game as our life.

CR: Fair. That’s really fair. I feel badly for the fans of Cincinnati.

NC: So do I.

Rewinding just over a month, I guess the question is: Why did Jon Heyman mention that the Cincinnati Reds were back in the running for Nick Castellanos on March 18th? Who was it that was telling him that? I guess it’s possible that the Reds could have been interested while not actually ever having talked to him for the entire offseason, but that would feel strange.

63 Responses

  1. Rut

    Umm… perhaps this is evidence piece #3472 that proves Jon Heyman is a hack?

    Also, Castellanos was rightly loved by the fans here and should always get respect from our faithful.

    And he is spot on when he says he “feels bad” for us, because the Reds organizational incompetence is as much of a fact as Heyman being a hack.

    • DavidW

      Sounds like the Reds. Had bad PR from trades and then threw out they were talking to Nick again. A leak (lie) to sound better to fans that they just crapped on. Castellanos really grew on me as a lifelong Reds fan. I understood that he was out of our budget, but you only know that if he says no to your offer. Common courtesy and professionalism says that you at least reach in one way or another (thanks for being a Red, but… or not to insult you, but here is what we can offer …). Seems so simple….!

    • Redsman

      Wow! Just woooooooow!
      This gives us a clearer picture of what is important to the Castellini regime. Making as much money as possible cause I don’t have enough?! Makes me think Bob was no way, no how gonna spend ANY money on the team, other than what necessary to put 9 bodies on the field. The only reason he seemingly relented, was likely due to negative press he was getting.

      After 16? years of mediocrity, or worse…we would be foolish to believe Bob is going to suddenly change course radically and ‘build’ that ballpark out there in the cornfield so that we will come. Yet, I feel like some others here who have commented to the effect that they refuse to allow poor ownership to deter their love of the game and or boycott trips to GABP. But I certainly am considering traveling to other MLB ballparks rather than my preferred location. Pittsburgh, Cleveland and even Detroit are not terribly far.

      I certainly wish the team would be sold! Oops, sorry Phil! ?

      • Votto4life

        I think Dick Williams was forced on Bob by the other owners. I think Bob didn’t like the intrusion but had no choice but to go along. Once he got Williams out of the way, he has been determined to undo everything Williams did good and bad.

  2. Hoosierdad

    To be fair, he’s the one that opted out of his contract. He’s the one who said he wanted to leave. Also, the Reds weren’t allowed to talk to him during the lockout. He also has an agent. Wouldn’t a good agent call the Reds and gauge their interest? This is not one-sided. I’ve been told phones work from either end.

    • BigRedMike

      Yep, I don’t get why this is a story. He cared about the Reds and opted out of the contract? It was a business decision on his part. He probably wanted another team in the bidding.
      The Reds FO is a mess with no clear plan, just not sure the Castellanos contract is a place to get worked up about. There is another article on here discussing contracts to players over 30 which might be relevant.

    • Luke J

      This. Nick C. opted out. He also turned down an $18M offer to sign for $20M. He wanted 5 years and quite frankly that was too long to be a wise contract.

      This is a non-story because just because the Reds didn’t call him personally doesn’t mean they didn’t call his agent. Even if it was to find out what he was looking for and after hearing it was 5 years, running for the hills.

      • Still a Red

        Agree to all of the above. However, I think the Reds could have matched Phillies offer and then let him decide. To me Castellanos is the real deal, someone you could build your team around after Joey steps down from his perch. If they offered him 18, he only got 20. They saved more than that offloading Barnhart (tho I hated to seem him go) Lorenzen, Garret, and Miley. He got 5 years, only 3 more years than what he already had left with the Reds. With Votto’s contract expiring in 2 years, he was affordable long term. And why on earth get rid of Winker. I get it, that was the cost of getting rid of Suarez, but I’d take them both back in a heart beat.

        Look, I get it. Even if the Castellini’s and the other owners are billionaires, you don’t necessarily want to lose money every year to support your hobby. Just because the team may be valued in the billions, you only get access to that if you sell. If you’re getting $60million/yr from streaming, not to mention local/regional coverage, and an other $50 million is sales/yr…you could have afforded Castellanos.

        As bad as this season may go, my real worry is they try to sell the team elsewhere. The fact that the game’s first franchise is on the market may encourage an offer the rest of the owners can’t refuse.

  3. doofus

    Can Red’s fans lift the “Castellini Curse” from the franchise?

  4. Rednat

    this article made me cry Doug. Cincinnati has been 0-3 with the opt out contracts. Harvey, Bauer and now Castellanos. I was beginning to think the players just hated the town and wanted to get out of Dodge. Sounds like Nick really liked Cincinnati. Shame we couldn’t keep him

  5. Bred

    The decision to gut the team was a 2 year plan made before last season but was not finished this year. If they hadn’t gone cheap on the pen last year, they would have been in the playoffs and possibly a division winner. Ownership did not want any success to undermine what they had planned. I don’t get why they haven’t jettisoned Castillo and Mahle.

    • Votto4life

      That will happen in July provided both are healthy.

  6. BigRedBaseball

    Anyone who says they wouldn’t have opted out of the contract is lying to themselves. If the company you work for let you go explore your options you would do the same thing.

  7. Votto4life

    How The Reds owners and Nick Krall still have supporters on here is beyond me. SMH

    • Redhaze

      You say you couldn’t afford Castellanos at 20 million but you sign and trade for Pham and Minor that combined make 17 million this is where I lose Krall’s rationale. I would want Castellanos for 4/80 over Pham and Minor every day and twice on Sundays.

      • Luke J

        Pham and Minor are not long term contracts that will saddle the Reds in the future. It’s not about 20 million this year (they offered him 18 million in the qualified offer). Not signing Nick was more about years 4 and 5 of his desired contract than any years Pham and Minor’s contracts would be for. The whole point is to make sure money is free when the team is ready to actually compete. Pham and Minor don’t affect that. A 5 year deal with Nick would.

  8. William

    Where do we go? So the owners say… Well, this lifelong fan of the Reds is not giving them a penny this year. I only listen for free on the radio. Also, I am enjoying following the Dodgers as well. It is where I went. I am still a Reds fan. I will start paying to take family members to the ballpark when they get new ownership. I am backing off finding fault with the General Manager. The main problem is the owners.

  9. William

    OWNERS: Extend Votto one year. This might help you with the fans. He is worth it due to his popularity and personality if he only bats .250. He is enjoyable to watch. Of course, a 41 year old Votto will bat better than .250. I am just saying…. He is my favorite player. In fact, he is the favorite player of my whole family which is very large. I am sure it is the same with thousands of Reds fans. Have a good day.

    • William

      OWNERS: I will pay for family members to come to some Reds games if you extend Votto. Fair enough.

  10. Doc

    Agree with BigRedMike.

    NC says, “really good guys like Nick Krall…” If you believe what NC says, then perhaps the Nick Krall bashing will stop, though I note that it hasn’t so people are de facto saying they believe NC’s comments about the lack of a phone call, but they don’t believe his comments about Nick Krall.

    NC rejected the Reds, not the other way around. The Reds gave NC a contract with two unilateral opt outs, NC exercised the opt out. If he loved it in Cincinnati, he could have stayed; it was his decision. Mercenaries from the beginning of recorded history rarely care about where they ply their services, they care only about how much they are paid for them. Poor little NC got his feelings hurt, sniffle, sniffle.

    • Votto4life

      My brother is a nice guy, but I don’t want him as GM of the Cincinnati Reds. It has nothing to do with the guy’s personality, it has to do with his incompetence.

      • greenmtred

        Fair point, Votto. But we don’t know what Nick meant when he made that remark. but contextually, it seems as though he’s referring to Krall’s competence.

    • Votto4life

      If Nick Krall is a “ A Bull in a China Shop” as Phil Castellini claims, then you would think he would have at least been curious enough to give the Team’s best player a phone call to see if there was any chance of brining him back.

      • BK

        They certainly had an idea about what it would take to sign NC. So, if they offered him what he considered to be a low-ball contract, they risk offending NC. Go back and read Fitch’s article from yesterday … lots of reasons to not make a “competitive offer” to NC.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Maybe he meant bull in a china shop as a way of saying he’s completely destroyed and wrecked what was set up? The only way it makes sense to me.

    • TR

      In regard to your last paragraph, I think that all of us, whether in a profession or occupation, have wanted or now want to make as much money as possible. Although it seemed to me that NC and his family, like many players over the years, liked living in Cincinnati and the environs. The contract from the Reds was there and Castellanos opted out. Case closed. Now get us a comparable right fielder other than Aquino.

    • doofus

      “Mercenaries from the beginning of recorded history rarely care about where they ply their services, they care only about how much they are paid for them.”

      The same could be said about physicians.

  11. Optimist

    Of the top 100 issues with the Reds, this is somewhere between 500 and 1,000 in importance. Sure, it’s one of those many little things which define well run, professional organizations at the top of their game, but that doesn’t seem to apply here. If they’re a WS contender this is a top 10 issue.

  12. ryan

    And tonight’s game has been shifted to Apple + TV (thank you FSOH)

  13. LDS

    I don’t know why anyone is surprised. Some of us knew Heyman’s report was BS and that the Reds wouldn’t make a move. That some of you here are saying well NC opted out. Yes, he did. And why is that? Because he’s not a fan of the organization as I’ve said on repeated occasions. It’s hard to imagine that the Reds management, FO, and ownership still has so many apologists, but it is so. Look at Bass’ article in the Enquirer. I guess it’s tough enough to write about the Reds and likely even tougher if the organization pulls your credentials. Bob C loves sycophants.

    • Votto4life

      LDS this is the Post of the month

    • greenmtred

      You aren’t a fan of the organization so, ipso facto, neither is Nick. Maybe he was a fan of the higher offer.

      • LDS

        So you are a fan of the organization? Managing in private sector, results mattered. What results have the Reds delivered?

      • greenmtred

        I’m not a fan of the organization, but perhaps you and I have different views of “delivered.” My point was that, barring insider information, your post was supposition masquerading as established fact. You’re absolutely entitled to your opinion, as are we all, but when we are discussing how a player feels about the organization or what the organization’s motives are opinions are generally what we are dealing with. I do happen to agree with others here that, good as Castellanos was in 2021, it would have been a mistake to offer him a 5-year contract.

      • LDS

        We’ll agree to disagree. I watched their interaction and it was stiff to say the least.

  14. MBS

    I blame Dick, who makes a contract with 2 opt outs? It was a terrible contract, I don’t think I remember one worse than that. Not the result, just the structure. He had 21 million left over to sign Shogo. Dick should have made a better deal with Nick. I also remember at the time even after the Shogo signing, the Reds stated they had a more money to go if needed.

    • Votto4life

      I don’t blame Dick Williams. The Reds have long had the reputation of being cheap. Players don’t want to sign here. Williams offered the opt outs because it was the only way Castellanos would sign here in 2019

      If you think it was bad then… the only way the Reds are ever going to sign top tier free agents now is to 1.) over pay and 2) allow for opt outs.

      Even with over paying and opt out clauses most players will still not sign here.

      • Greenfield Red

        If Williams was a good GM he would have traded Homer Bailey for Mike Trout and Billy Hamilton for Clayton Kershaw rather than give NC two opt outs. (TIC)

      • MBS

        @Votto players want to sign with winners, but more importantly to most is to get paid. Dick didn’t offer the money required to do it. He might have had Bob limiting him on a deal to deal basis, but I don’t think so. He made bad FA signings. It is that simple.

        @Greenfield you don’t have to carry water for Dick, he wasn’t a horrible GM, in fact I loved what he did on the player development side. Someone that does good things can also make bad decisions. The world is not all or nothing.

  15. RedsGettingBetter

    So there are many contradictions.
    Castellanos said he loves to stay with Cincy but he opted out. Does he have a previous conversation to FO related to this topic?
    Some days ago I read in twitter that Boras talked to Krall about a client ( it supposed to be Castellanos) would like to stay in Cincy but Krall declared they were not engaged with Nick’s representatives some time before the ST began.
    Castellanos answered that “you know what you can afford unless you make an offer? ” but indeed there was a qualified offer made by the Reds… so…

  16. Redhaze

    We were sold a bill of goods this winter when reports came out that the Reds were going to make Nick an offer. This was just to settle the fan base down for a minute before the train wreck of season started.

  17. Kevin H

    What is missed here is fact reds “rebuild” started last season. Example the bullpen, and only after Reds were still in contention did front office make a move. Yes, Nick opted out, but I get the sense he is a no non sense type of guy who tells it like it is.

    He saw the writing last year. I think that came true with what we saw this off season and spring training. Make no mistake about it, this organization cares nothing about winning. The players they brought in are proof.

    “We are better in a weird way”

  18. Darrin

    I think I’m as disappointed losing the personalities as the production

  19. vegastypo

    Heyman is a mouthpiece for Scott Boras. I strongly suspect that Heyman made that comment at Boras’ urging in an effort to stir up the market for Castellanos.

    The Reds were never going to pay Castellanos. I suspect they were relieved when he opted out.


    Somehow this story should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. It’s just further proof this organization is long past the point of even attempting to field LEGITIMATE contenders in the NL Central. They were so, so close last year but they chose to skate on two critical areas which came back to cost them greatly at the season’s end. One of those critical areas was the bullpen, as we know. You would think that collectively there is enough knowledge, experience, and genuine baseball instinct down at 100 Joe Nuxhall Way to know relief pitching and key bullpen personnel in the 8th and 9th innings are crucial to win ballgames in this era. And especially so in a era when starting pitchers are trained to go 5 or 6 decent innings and then bow out. Once upon a time only 40-50 years ago, baseball was filled with genuine stud starting pitching, guys who could go out every 4th or 5th day and throw 150 pitches going 8 or 9 innings. Starters prided themselves on that back then. They weren’t coddled and pampered like they are today. Yeah, salaries being paid out have a lot to do with that but whose fault is that? Until baseball’s economic system, contract issues, and revenue structures are resolved most likely we won’t be seeing championship caliber ballclubs in Cincinnati anytime soon. Unless of course some multi-billionaire steps in and buys the team. Both corporate and individual greed have taken over what used to be our National Pastime and stripped Cincinnati from its once proud and often bragged about title of “Baseball Capital Of The World”.

  21. Gary

    And I, for one, would certainly have no trouble traveling down to Nashville to watch Major League Baseball there, if they would happen to be awarded an expansion franchise.

  22. Scott C

    7 out of 9 players in tonight’s lineup are batting under 200. No need to have the DH for the Reds, we have 7 pitchers hitting.

  23. Indy Red Man

    I never saw Nick’s deal with Philly. $20 mil a year isn’t that much for a hitter of his ability. He also has some natural leadership qualities that the Reds lack. Theres a good article about how he helped Alec Bohm after some fielding/hitting/verbal slip-ups.

    He hates to walk and he’s not a good defensive player, but if you’re an owner and you want to matter on the big stage then you sign guys like Nick and stick him in the middle of the lineup.

    • Old-school

      $20 mil/year is a great deal in 2022 but not in 2025/26- ( see Moustakis, Mike). I’d have given Castellanos a take it or leave it deal- 3 years 75 mil. That pays him high AAV and after 2024 he’s still $15 mil ahead of the 5/100 deal and could actually make more money. Reds did the correct thing. They are paying Castellanos deferred money still this year from his old contract. Griffey is still on the payroll and Arroyo may still be financing his party boat cruises on the 2022 Reds budget.

      Stop mortgaging the future and pay for it now.

  24. Mark A Verticchio

    I can’t believe Aquino and Moran are still on this team let alone in the Line up tonight. There has to be somebody else in the farm system better than those 2, if not they are never going to get this headed in the right direction. I realize Mclain isn’t on the 40 man roster but they need to make room. He is young but what is there to lose. Soon India, Stephenson, Barrero, Mclain, Senzel and maybe Lopez should see a lot of action together. They also need to find a way to get Ashcraft and Williamson some big league experience this year they are already 24, nothing to lose. I would also trade Mahle for a major league ready hitter. Castillo ??????

  25. Tom Reeves

    Castellanos opted out of his contract. He could have told the Reds I’m open to negotiating an extension or a contract change. He didn’t. He played hard to get and then is upset the Reds didn’t pursue him.

    Frankly, he should be very grateful to the Reds. He got an amazing contract based almost entirely off his potential. He had, to that point, under performed in his young career. He has a really good couple of months in Chicago and landed a life-changing amount of money from the Reds. He didn’t have a great 2020 but did have an amazing 2021. Then he walked.

    Personally, I’d be very grateful to the team and owners to paid me a family tree changing amount of money and I would have had a very open conversations with the fans and ownership in Cincinnati about the decision to opt out of that contract.

    If Nick wanted to be in Cincinnati, he’d be in Cincinnati. He quit on Cincinnati, not the other way around.

    • Tom Reeves

      Wanting the Reds to pursue him also is very self serving. He wasn’t likely to sign on to what the Reds could afford to offer so all they would do is create a BATNA for him in negotiating a deal with another team.

      Has Nick considered that his Opting out lead to the Reds to dismantle the 2021 team and focus on the future? Of course he hasn’t. He wanted to get paid. I don’t blame him for that. But it’s a bit rich to be sanctimonious about what the Reds didn’t do after he left.

      • TR

        I’ve seen no reference where Nick complained the Red’s front office did not return his phone calls.

  26. Tom Reeves

    Has David Bell considered going Bavid Dell for a few weeks? I think this team might need be shocked back to life.

  27. T-bone

    I’m done with this team, I’ve said that so many times over the years. Honestly I’m just saying that. Hopefully they will turn it around. With the way MLB does things, the Reds will never be a team that can win it all, year in and year out. I’m just hoping they can be a team like the Devil Rays( yes, I said it). I just want one more World Series appearance before I die. Win or lose, I just want to be there, like my Bengals.