Rumors

Phillies have had ‘recent contact’ with Nick Castellanos, who is seeking a massive deal


Nick Castellanos is a free agent. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

As expected, the Philadelphia Phillies have interest in one of the top sluggers on the market, but it may take a massive contract to secure his services.

Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Phillies have had ‘recent contact’ with Nick Castellanos’ team. Morosi also added the reminder that when the Detroit Tigers selected Castellanos in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft, the person leading their front office was current Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

However, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com hears that Castellanos is “seeking a seven or eight-year deal.” That’s a significantly longer deal than most expected that Castellanos, who will turn 30 in March, would land.

On Audacy Sports, I projected that Castellanos would sign for five years and $105 million. MLB Trade Rumors predicted that the Silver Slugger Award winner would sign for five years and $115 million. Ken Davidoff of The New York Post had five years and $85 million as his educated guess for the deal that Castellanos would land.

Certainly, you don’t start negotiations by immediately giving the bottom-line value that you would be willing to sign for. With that said, this report makes it pretty clear that Castellanos expects to sign for more than five years. It’s unclear what average annual value his team is targeting.

A summer after becoming part of a viral meme, Castellanos had the finest season of his career, slashing .309/.362/.576 with 34 home runs, 100 RBIs, a .939 OPS and a 4.2 fWAR.

Following his first All-Star season, Castellanos opted out of the remaining two years and $34 million left on his deal with the Cincinnati Reds. He also declined the team’s one-year/$18.4 million qualifying offer, meaning the Phillies would have to surrender their second-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft and $500,000 of international signing bonus pool money if they agreed to a deal with Castellanos.

While the Phillies would certainly love to add Castellanos’ bat, he wouldn’t represent a defensive upgrade for a team that badly needs to add impact defenders. Castellanos — who would shift to left field if he signed with the Phillies, given that reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper is entrenched in right field — had -7 defensive runs saved in right field in 2021.

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