The Detroit Tigers are looking to put together their core for the future. Nicholas Castellanos had a chance to be a part of that future, but may have turned down his chance.
The Detroit Tigers are in the midst of a substantial rebuild. Franchise icon Justin Verlander is gone, having won a World Series in Houston. Ian Kinsler has been sent to the Angels. While veterans like Miguel Cabrera remain, it is clear that the Tigers are focused on finding their next core group that they can return to the postseason with.
While virtually everyone on the roster is available for trade, the Tigers still need to determine which players they want to build around. They had apparently made up their minds that Nicholas Castellanos would be a part of that future, offering him a contract extension after the season. However, those efforts have been rebuffed to this point, leaving Castellanos’ place with Detroit in question.
It is understandable as to why the Tigers would have looked to extend Castellanos after his 2017 campaign. He produced a .272/.320/.490 batting line, hitting 26 homers and driving in over 100 runs or the first time in his career. The Tigers slugger even led the American League with ten triples, showing a surprising amount of speed.
More from Call to the Pen
- Philadelphia Phillies, ready for a stretch run, bomb St. Louis Cardinals
- Philadelphia Phillies: The 4 players on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore
- Boston Red Sox fans should be upset over Mookie Betts’ comment
- Analyzing the Boston Red Sox trade for Dave Henderson and Spike Owen
- 2023 MLB postseason likely to have a strange look without Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals
However, even with that production, there are questions as to how much value Castellanos actually has. His defense at third has been considered to be abysmal, as he has cost the Tigers 64 runs over his four years at third. That defense was not much better in right field last year, as he cost Detroit another nine runs there. His horrendous defense left Castellanos as being worth only 0.7 WAR.
In theory, Castellanos would be a solid fit as a designated hitter on a team. However, is that really worth an extension for a team like the Tigers, who have older veterans like Cabrera and Victor Martinez on the roster? And, at 26 years old at the start of the 2018 campaign, is it worth the Tigers money to have someone that is essentially a disaster in the field locked in?
Perhaps the idea is that Castellanos would move to first base once Martinez’ contract expires at the end of the year, with Cabrera taking over as the designated hitter. But again, there are problems with that idea. Castellanos has never played first base as a professional, so there are questions as to how well he would handle that transition.
The Detroit Tigers offered Nicholas Castellanos a contract extension after the 2017 campaign, but were turned down. This may prove to be