The top remaining free agent target of the Texas Rangers is off the board after Nick Castellanos reportedly agreed to sign with the Cincinnati Reds.
Intent on still adding one more significant upgrade to the lineup, the Texas Rangers have been heavily connected with Nick Castellanos this offseason. Long considered the favorite to land the impact hitter, their pursuit turned up empty on Monday when it was reported that Castellanos had agreed to a four-year deal worth $64 million with the Cincinnati Reds.
Castellanos deal also reportedly includes two opt outs, one after the 2020 season and the other after the 2021 season according to Mark Feinsand. For fans, not signing Castellanos is going to be a point of frustration with many feeling that this winter has been underwhelming for a club that seemingly were intent on adding at least one top level position player this offseason.
The push for Castellanos on behalf of the Rangers seemed to have cooled some this weekend with multiple local outlets reporting that Jon Daniels intimated that a significant addition was more likely to come via trade than free agency during Texas’ Peek at the Park fan event. He also dampened thoughts that the club would trade for Colorado’s Nolan Arenado, a target that is at the top of most Texas Rangers fans’ wishlists.
The opt outs in Castellanos deal could have played a factor in Texas not being more involved with him, if, of course, Texas was his top choice as rumored. For a club like the Rangers who are hoping to build a team worthy of contention over the next few years, signing a player of Castellanos caliber knowing he could leave at season’s end if he chooses doesn’t exactly fit into their plans. At four years, $64 million, I’d imagine Texas was willing to meet that price point, but were more interested in a long-term commitment.
With Castellanos off the table, it will be interesting to see where the Rangers turn now. They still seem very inclined to add another player this offseason and with the short term upgrades they’ve made to the rotation, it would seem wasteful to not add an offensive player to a grouping that was below average in value last season. Names like Starling Marte and Nolan Arenaod are the ones most consistently connected but Texas is likely combing the league to find a player of substance worth adding for next year.