The Atlanta Braves seeing Reds?
Last offseason, the Reds dumped salary like the ship was sinking, but they nonetheless held onto Nick Castellanos and he’s been destroying pitching all season to thank them. Castellanos is known for his power, but he’s a better hitter than many give him credit for.
He’s currently batting .356/.413/.638/.1.051 with 12 homers, a .447 wOBA and 183 wRC+. While his average will likely come down a little, his production will remain high; He has a strong arm, and his defense seems to have improved.
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The right-handed hitting 29-year-old earns what’s left of $16M this year and is on the books for another $16M in 2022 and $14M in 2023. However, his contract contains an opt-out clause for the end of this season.
The Atlanta Braves may not care if he opts out, but they might also offer him an incentive to stay by, for example, offering him a year’s extension.
The Reds started hot but are 5.5 games back now and facing injury issues that make it unlikely they’ll stay in the race. They’ll happily move Castellanos and he’ll almost certainly leave the downward trending Reds after the season.
Castellanos will come at a player cost as well as the big contract. I’d expect them to ask for multiple players, a shortstop or Langeliers or Waters.
Long Tall Texan
Okay, Joey Gallo is technically from Nevada, but he’s been the light-tower power in the Ranger lineup since 2017. Gallo comes with a 33% K-rate and 40 homers a year. He’s never going to hit for average or get on base at a record clip, but from 2017-2019 he was worth 120 wRC+ and .363 wOBA.
Gallo’s become an above-average defensive outfielder, and his arm is among the best around. He’s even played some center field and is comfortable at first base. He’s just 27-years old, earns what’s left of $6.3M this year, and has one year of team control remaining.
The Rangers need everything, with pitching and outfield at the top of the list. If the Atlanta Braves wanted to get creative, they might ask for Ian Kennedy to shore up the bullpen as well.
The package will depend on what Jon Daniels thinks he needs the most. Right now, that’s everything, but expect it to include a top-ten Braves prospect of some ilk.