Texas Rangers: Comparing free agents Nick Castellanos, Marcell Ozuna
By Kenneth Nash
Age Profile and Contract Projection
With regards to how the age of these players fits into the Rangers short-term and long-term plans, there isn’t much difference to speak of. Castellanos will be 28 come Opening Day which in baseball terms is right in the heart of his prime. He still will have a number of productive years left so there isn’t the concern of paying for years where he’s not worth his contract due to age. However, Ozuna just turned 29 in November so we’re talking about just over a year age difference between the two. Ozuna could sign a multi-year deal and there shouldn’t be any drop off due to age either.
In terms of contract projections, both are expected to command long-term deals worth significant cash, but neither should come that close to a $20 million per year contract. FanGraphs projected Ozuna getting four years, $70 million ($17.5m per year) and Castellanos getting four years, $56 million ($14m per year). All contract offers have been elevated this offseason is seems so it might take a bit more to get each deal done, but in terms of payroll space, the Rangers have plenty of room to work with if they want to do so.
Ozuna likely will cost more per year because he has the ability to be at least average defensively in left field whereas Castellanos defense negatively impacts his value. If the Rangers feel he can play first base then perhaps that’s some added value but teams still aren’t likely to want to invest long-term in a defensively suspect player.