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The San Francisco Giants are among the teams showing interest in Nicholas Castellanos, per a report from Jon Paul Morosi. They are one of at least four teams connected to the free agent corner outfielder.
Who is Nicholas Castellanos, you ask? No, seriously, who is he?
/rapidly types in Google
Apparently, he is a baseball player. Drafted in the first round by the Detroit Tigers in 2010, he made his debut a few years later. He was pretty good, netting some Rookie of the Year votes in 2014, then he got even gooder, posting an OPS+ of 120 or greater in three of the last four seasons. He also hates the Players’ Weekend uniforms and is iffy about the use of analytics in today’s modern game. So, one of us!
He also hits lots of homers and lots of doubles.
He finished this past season with the Chicago Cubs after getting traded for a couple of pitchers in the low minors at the deadline. His numbers were okay in Detroit—.273/.328/.462, good for an OPS+ of 105—but once he arrived to Chicago, he turned into the second coming of Alex Dickerson. In 51 games, he hit .321/.356/.646, smashing 16 home runs and 21 doubles, resulting in a 151 OPS+.
He grades out as a below-average glove and a mediocre baserunner. Baseball Reference lists him as a third baseman and rightfielder, but he hasn’t touched an infielder’s glove since 2017, and for a very good reason. In 2017 alone, he committed 18 errors and totaled up a whopping -14 DRS at the hot corner.
But, you know, dingers.
Did I embed his first career homer just because he hit it against the Dodgers? Maybe.
Castellanos is young—he’ll turn 28 in March—and because of the trade, he has no pesky qualifying offer to worry about. His defense might be awful, but his experience at third and in the outfield offers at least the façade of positional flexibility.
Most importantly, it’s worth remembering that this guy is in the front office.
MLB: 2019 Spring Training Media Days
MFW SB Nation’s photo tool doesn’t have an image of Scott Harris. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
That’s Scott Harris That’s Farhan Zaidi, who you may or may not remember hired Scott Harris, the Giants’ new GM. Not coincidentally, Harris was part of the front office that traded for Castellanos in the first place, so he clearly sees something in the guy.
The question, of course, is will Castellanos want to sign with the Giants, who are A) bad and will be bad for the foreseeable future, and B) play in a park that depresses offensive value. As a righty, Castellanos’ power shouldn’t see too much of an impact. However, if you watched that first video, you may have noticed something curious.
How many of those opposite field home runs get sucked into the vortex that’s slowly eating away at Brandon Belt’s soul? It’s clear that Castellanos is at his best when he can use all the fields, and Oracle Park offers him one huge, brick wall–shaped obstacle in that regard.
At any rate, Castellanos was pretty open about how much he hated Comerica Park’s dimensions, so it will definitely be a factor in where he signs.
But hey, you never know! Maybe the Giants put that $10 million they saved from non-tendering Kevin Pillar to good use and come in second place in the free agent sweepstakes!