Is Nick Castellanos a Possible Target for the Texas Rangers?
By Kenneth Nash
If Nick Castellanos is to be dealt from the Detroit Tigers this offseason, will the Texas Rangers throw their hat in the ring?
The Texas Rangers have already made their needed infielder signing of the offseason inking Asdrubal Cabrera to a 1-year deal. But news broke yesterday that the Detroit Tigers may be shopping third baseman and outfielder Nick Castellanos has made it known his desire to be traded. Many expected for Castellanos was likely to be traded before the deadline but now thoughts are he might be dealt before Spring Training.
If he is to be dealt, could the Texas Rangers be a viable landing spot?
Why It Works?
The Texas Rangers have a well-documented need for a long-term third baseman after the retirement of Adrian Beltre. While Castellanos didn’t spend any time at third for the Tigers in 2018, he has played a good chunk of time at third in his Major League career. Castellanos will turn 27 in early March meaning he still has a ton of playing time ahead of him. If the Rangers view him as a third baseman, he could lock up the position for years to come and give Texas another piece to build around.
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At the plate, Castellanos is also coming off his best career in the Majors last season. He hit .298 with an impressive .854 OPS in 157 games for the Tigers. He posted a 2.9 WAR which was his career high and would’ve led the Rangers last season.
For his career, Castellanos has hit .274 in 737 games and posted a .782 OPS. He maintains a career WAR of 4.2 as well.
Why It Doesn’t Work?
While just looking at the hole to fill and the player to fill it, Castellanos seems like a genuine fit, it might not make much sense. Castellanos does have an expiring contract at the end of the 2019 season meaning the Rangers would have to work out an extension with him. Castellanos only fits as a long-term option considering Texas isn’t really in the market for a single-season rental.
The Tigers also are likely to want a fairly big haul for a player in his prime like Castellanos. I’d like to think a straight swap of Nomar Mazara and Castellanos would work but the Rangers aren’t sending Mazara anywhere without a long term commitment from Castellanos. And even then, would Texas be more inclined to trade their assets for pitching. Also, there’s no guarantee that Detroit wouldn’t want more talent in return.
Our very own Travis Koch noted in a discussion that, “I’m a big fan of his, but I think the move will be to wait until he’s a free agent.”
Travis makes a good point. While it’s unlikely the Rangers become suitors for Castellanos in a trade, don’t be surprised if they’re connected to him come free agency next offseason.