Free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos has signed a $64 million, four-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.
It was Cincinnati’s latest big-money move to emerge from years of losing.
The deal allows Castellanos to opt out and become a free agent after the 2020 or 2021 campaigns. He gets salaries of $16 million in 2020, $14 million in 2021, and $16 million in 2022 and 2023. There’s a mutual option for 2024 at $20 million with a buyout of $2 million.
It was the fourth significant move by the Reds, among the most active teams in free agency since their sixth straight losing season.
“This is an off-season where we have prioritized adding to the offensive side of the club,” said Dick Williams, the team’s president of baseball operations. “Nick was one of the most attractive options on the market. He has been a consistently elite producer offensively and that complements our existing team well.”
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The Reds have has committed $164 million to new players, including the two biggest free agent deals in club history.
Cincinnati signed second baseman Mike Moustakas to a $64 million, four-year contract and added left-handed starter Wade Miley on a $15 million, two-year deal. Outfielder Shogo Akiyama, a five-time NPB All-Star, got a $21 million, three-year deal.
Cincinnati’s biggest weakness last season was offense. The Reds ended near the bottom of the National League in runs despite playing in one of its most hitter-friendly ballparks.
Castellanos batted .289 last season with the Tigers and Cubs, who got him in a midseason trade. He hit 27 homers overall, drove in 73 runs and had a major league-leading 58 doubles while playing mostly in right field for Detroit and Chicago.
Castellanos became only the 10th player with 58 doubles in a season. He has 229 doubles since the start of the 2014 season, tied with Boston’s Mookie Betts for most in the majors over that span.
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