The Philadelphia Phillies are led by big-spendin’ Dave Dombrowski, a GM with a track record of taking over teams, fueling them with big names, and taking them to the cusp of Titletown. He did just that with the Detroit Tigers back in the day, and along the way managed to find a talented young 3B prospect in his system, too - one by the name of Nicholas Castellanos.
Castellanos is now a free agent, the Phillies are ramping up, and all signs point to them being heavily in the mix to sign the former Cincinnati Reds slugger. But as MLB insider Jon Heyman relayed on Friday morning, apparently the Reds themselves are still keeping tabs on Nick for an incredibly unlikely return.
Some surprise teams are showing interest in Castellanos. One of those is his old team, the Reds, who seemed to be in steep sell mode. They do have needs but with contenders in the mix, that would seem like a long shot. Philly, others presumably much more likely.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 18, 2022
We know the Reds, for whatever reason, apparently had to shed $40 million or so from payroll before they could add anything, as they are somehow unaware that 40 minus 40 plus 30 is the same as 40 minus 10. Hence the addition of Mike Minor after jettisoning half the universe earlier on in the winter. In doing so, though, they just might have lowered their payroll to hit their magic number, one that - if Heyman is to be believed - has freed up enough cash to splash on Castellanos again.
It’s no secret that the Reds need OF help. They needed OF help even before giving Jesse Winker away to Seattle. It’s also no secret that the Reds need help against LHP, as they ranked 27th among the 30 MLB teams against them during a 2021 season in which they already had Castellanos in the lineup against them.
For the longest time, I wasn’t sure if I’d see Nick put that helmet on again. I don’t know if it’s going to be for the Reds. I don’t know if it’s going to be for his old bosses in Philly.
But maybe, just maybe, the Reds have taken the most circuitous route in human history to reach a point of being able to sign a good player to a decent contract again, and are trying to do so.