The Texas Rangers have reportedly moved back into talks with free agent Nick Castellanos. What could that mean for the rest of the offseason?
Speculating a potential big name signing for the Texas Rangers has gotten quite a bit of attention from fans. One of those free agents that’s been hot of late is Nick Castellanos. As we’ve noted before, the signing of Castellanos could put the roster in a bind, but it could have a greater impact on the overall plans for the offseason and beyond.
The Rangers have been in contact with the big bat of Castellanos with Evan Grant confirming the report from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. This seems great to fans, because if we’re being honest, we just want Jon Daniels to make another big splash. Corey Kluber was a great addition, but we want more. Castellanos does that, and could potentially do more than bring one big bat into Arlington. He could start a domino effect helping define the club’s plans moving forward. The Rangers have options this offseason, and they start with Castellanos. Castellanos’ presence in Arlington would allow several major league pieces on the 40-man roster right now to be expendable. Here are a few different directions the Rangers could go that could drastically shake up the roster for the better.
Castellanos brings in Frazier
This is probably the least sexy of the moves the Rangers could make. I noted in an article a few days ago that the Rangers had interest in bringing in Todd Frazier. Frazier would be an undeniable upgrade over any in-house option they have at the hot corner, and would be significantly cheaper than pursuing a trade of Arenado or Kris Bryant. If the Rangers bring in Castellanos, Frazier would be the most likely candidate outside the organization to fill the hole at third, but does not rule them out of the Arenado/Bryant sweepstakes.
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Castellanos could mean certain players are expendable
A Castellanos acquisition would allow the Texas Rangers to make one our outfielders expendable, namely Willie Calhoun or Ronald Guzman. Of the two, Calhoun would carry the most value if Texas entertained trade discussions while Guzman would be far easier to swallow parting with. I would bet against the Rangers dealing the young outfielder, and would hope that they hang onto Calhoun. He has proven he can hit big league pitching, and if healthy, can put up big numbers in the big leagues. In regards to Guzman, he is an elite defender already at the big league level, and if his bat comes around, he could be a dominant middle of the order force. I highly doubt Calhoun or Guzman get dealt if Castellanos comes to Texas, but this could be a potential pathway to a much bigger move involving Arenado or Kris Bryant.
Castellanos could make Arenado/Bryant a more feasible deal?
A Castellanos acquisition got us thinking about the flexibility of the roster. If Castellanos came to Texas and Calhoun or Guzman was made available, they would carry some value considering they both are ready to make an impact in the big leagues. There is a specific reason for potential trade partners to be interested in the sweet swinging Calhoun. Obviously, Calhoun couldn’t be offered in a straight swap for one of the elite third baseman rumored in trade talks, but he could be a nice centerpiece.
Jon Paul Morosi reported that the Rockies wanted a talented, dynamic right-handed hitting center fielder in any deal for Arenado. The Cubs have asked for a similar return in any Bryant deal, as well. They began negotiating with the Nationals for center fielder Victor Robles. For the Rangers, they don’t have that type of high caliber centerfield prospect, but that’s where Calhoun, Guzman . or Kolby Allard could come into play. They do have young, controllable major league talent that could be appealing to the Rockies or Cubs. In the farm system, Bubba Thompson’s name comes to mind. Thompson, who was a multi-sport athlete in high school, is a dynamic outfielder. He’s a toolsy player, meaning he’s got a solid skillset with a high ceiling. These are the players that could be a foundation for a blockbuster trade involving third baseman, but it all starts with Castellanos. His presence in Arlington could allow Jon Daniels to hit fast-forward on the rebuild and really get things rolling in North Texas.
In this hypothetical world where Texas pursued Castellanos, Frazier, and Arenado/Bryant, it would mean that the club would significantly bump up their payroll. Would the front office swallow that problem to move into legitimate contender status? That’s a justifiable move. Imagine a Rangers’ offseason in which they brought in Corey Kluber, Nicholas Castellanos, and Nolan Arenado or Kris Bryant. They found their ace. Now, how about potentially bringing in two big time bats, including a very impressive Adrian Beltre replacement. Texas seems to have set a precedent dealing for Kluber that they would like to accelerate contention and this would make them a scary proposition in the playoff race. But it all starts with the Castellanos domino falling Texas’ way.