The Texas Rangers have their work cut out for them this winter.
This team could justify an upgrade at just about every position. Some have more certainty in who you have than others, but you’d be hard-pressed to show a position group in more need of an upgrade than the outfield.
Sure, you have break-out star Adolis Garcia, the high ceiling Leody Taveras, and homer hittin’ DJ Peters, but who out of that group showed they could be an everyday starter? Other than Garcia, none. And even El Bombi doesn’t have a locked-in spot through the whole of 2022.
If he continues to regress like he did in the second half of 2021, who do the Rangers have to call up? Well, that’d be Bubba Thompson and Steele Walker presumably, albeit, both are unknown prospects and their bats may still not be ready for the majors. Can you build a contender where a whole group is made up of defensive replacements and hope? It’s a bold strategy, cotton.
Texas Rangers could sign Nicholas Castellanos in free agency to help their lineup and outfield situations
In this edition of free-agent profiles, I’ll be taking a dive into a star ex-Reds player in Nicholas Castellanos.
Castellanos was taken 44th overall in 2010 out of high school but was viewed much more highly than that. Originally picked as a SS, he was quickly moved to 3rd base and then finally found a landing spot in the outfield.
- 34 Home Runs
- 41BB/121 SO
- 3.3 WAR
- 168 Home Runs
- 12.3 WAR
- OPS+ 115
As you can see, Castellanos enjoyed quite a good year in 2021. That probably lead to him opting out of his current contract to sign for greener pastures. Now he’s not exactly going to be a savior for the Rangers though.
His defense is…alright. With the currently rostered outfielders, he’d be more suited for left field. His 96% fielding and 7 outfield assists aren’t the worst but the Rangers do have some spectacular defensive players. In time Castellanos could even become a full-time DH. His career path could closely resemble that of JD Martinez’ (Castellanos is five years younger). Nick could benefit from further plate discipline too, working more walks would elevate his game. He also doesn’t hit many triples or steal bases either.
He does seem to be trending up offensively, however. He’s increased his home run rate each of the past 3 years while maintaining a hard-hit rate of about 47%. The ballpark does give and take there though. Globe Life Field’s shortest fence is to the left field side where he pulls the ball 26% of the time. It’s farthest dimension, though, is to center where he hits it 56% of the time. Therefore, 35+ homers wouldn’t be on the horizon. Cincinnati is also a very favorable hitter’s park.
The real factor here is what kind of contract would it take to sign Nicholas Castellanos. He’s only 29 so a six or seven year contract would be reasonable. It could take the Texas Rangers going to $25 million AAV to get him, though. With little on the books for the future, that’s not a killer number, but would his acquisition affect their shortstop approach? Hopefully not, but it’s something to consider.
Castellanos is one of the best fits for the Rangers based on offensive performance and position. He would provide the largest improvement to a group on the team, and give the Rangers a middle-of-the-order bat for years. His ascension to stardom and multiple All-Star appearances could be on the horizon. It will definitely be an interesting decision for Jon Daniels and GM Chris Young.