By: Noah Wright
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Now that The Tigers are in a full rebuild mode, no player is really safe on their roster. This includes slugging corner player Nicholas Castellanos. Castellanos has been a tremendous force in The Tigers line-up this season, and was last season too. With his young age (26), and bat, Castellanos has been seen in Tigers trade talks often. But what exactly would he be worth to a team, and what teams would be interested?
Let’s first look at Castellanos’ value. Castellanos carries a big stick with him. At the time of writing this, the 26 year old is batting a tremendous .301/.352/.518 in 229 PA’s, all of which are career highs, to go along with 15 homers and 55 RBI’s. His 134 wRC+ is also a career high. Castellanos also makes good contact, with a 48.2% hard hit rate, and a .358 BABIP. While his value is greatly supported by his bat, it’s his glove that really brings it down some. This season, The Tigers moved Castellanos from third base to right field. However, the transition hasn’t improved his defense. In RF, the slugger has -11 DRS, -5.2 UZR, and is worth -1.4 WAR defensively. Plus, his arm isn’t great either, with -2 outfield arm runs above average. The reason for this move to RF is because his 3B defense isn’t good either. In his career, Castellanos is worth -64 DRS in 4401 innings at the hot corner. He’s also prone to errors at third as well. Every season he played 120+ games at third, he mad at least a dozen errors. With his fielding ability being lack luster to say the least, fans have been wanting to see how he can handle first base. Another thing that affects his value is his contract. 2019 is the last season of control for Castellanos before he hits free agency. A team will likely not be willing to shell out a handful of top 100 prospects for Castellanos for a year and a half of his production.
One team I could see being interested in his service is The Phillies. The Phillies haven’t gotten great production from their third baseman. Maikel Franco (their main 3B), along with Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford each have seen time at the hot corner, however none have done all that great with their bats this season. With Castellano’s ability to play RF (sorta), this gives him some flexibility in the outfield. The plan to platoon Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr in RF hasn’t been so smooth. Neither have done great with their bats, or gloves this season. With a deep enough farm system, The Phillies have the pieces to make a trade for Castellanos. The Phillies current division rival, The Braves, could also be a landing spot for Nicholas. The Braves have gotten decent production out of Johan Camargo this season, as he’s batting .256/.355/.445 in 245 PA’s this season, however, The Braves could be ones to upgrade their 3B situation. The Braves also have one of the best prospect systems in the game right now, so they should not have any trouble acquiring someone of Castellanos’ caliber. Another East team I could see being involved in trade talks for Castellanos is The Yankees. The Yankees have been rumored to be looking at Mike Moustakas as a potential solution for first base, since they’ve gotten lack luster production from Greg Bird, and Neil Walker (the main duo that’s gotten time at 1B), and I think the same can be said here. With some fans wanting to see how Nick handles first, The Yankees could be a team that would be interested in looking at what Castellanos can do. The Yankees also have a farm system like The Phillies and Braves, and should not have trouble dealing off any prospects to acquire Castellanos. The Diamondbacks are a team that could also be in the market for some third base help. Current 3B Jake Lamb is only batting .244/.337/.393 in 196 PA’s, far from his usual power and OBP production. With Lamb currently having a below average season, The D-Backs are candidates for a 3B upgrade. However, they do not have a farm system like previously mentioned teams, which could pose as a challenge for The D-Backs in acquiring Castellanos, or a 3B upgrade. The last team I could see that would show interest in Castellanos is The Rockies. The Rockies currently first base situation isn’t pretty. Ian Desmond hasn’t performed with the bat like The Rockies expected him to. So far, Desmond is batting a weak .219/.293/.430 with 17 homers in 341 PA’s. While they do have young options in a player like Ryan McMahon, The Rockies could use a proven upgrade at first. The Rockies also have a good farm system, which is a factor that will likely play in The Tigers decision in a trade.
With The Tigers entering a rebuild, no player on their roster is 100% safe. This includes 26 year old corner field player, Nick Castellanos. Castellanos can provide a decent bat for the teams that could look into him as a trade target. While he may not provide much with the glove, he is still young, and his bat makes up for the lack of fielding prowess.