MLB free agency prediction: Nick Castellanos won’t accept his qualifying offer from the Cincinnati Reds
There’s a reason why Castellanos opted out of his contract, leaving two years and $32 million on the table. He’s expecting a bigger payday outside of Cincinnati after a season where he put up an OPS+ of 136 while smacking 34 home runs and driving in 100.
Castellanos picked a great time to have his first-ever All-Star Game nod, setting himself up for plenty of teams to want his services in 2022. And, with Cincinnati being in cost-cutting mode after some head-scratching moves already this offseason, the Reds aren’t likely to open up the wallet to keep the 29-year-old outfielder in the Queen City.
So where could Castellanos head next, sending a drive into deep left field? Could a reunion with Detroit be in the cards, the team that selected him 44th overall in the 2010 draft and where he played for seven seasons? What about the Miami Marlins, a team that has plenty of payroll space and is less than an hour away from where he played high school baseball? Could he be the big splash a major market team like the New York Mets or Chicago White Sox are willing to pull off?
Castellanos will get a payday this offseason. It just won’t be in Cincinnati.