Cincinnati's Stadium Has Been A "Great" American Ball Park for Nick Castellanos
Common sense would tell Cincinnati's front office to trade Nick Castellanos before the deadline, for his value will never be greater than it is right now. With an opt out in his current contract, the slugger is a near hundred percent bet to enter free agency at season's end.
After all, Castellanos currently leads the National League in several categories, including doubles and total bases. More importantly, his .340 batting average is tops in all of baseball.
In spite of his great numbers, Castellanos is not likely to bring back much in a trade. He has this season alone had run ins with several teams, none more nasty than his shouting match with a team that would otherwise be an ideal fit for his services.
He spurred a bench-clearing brawl by threatening Cardinal pitcher Jake Wofford, resulting in Castellanos receiving a two-game suspension. That punishment might end up being the lighter of the consequences from his brazen behavior, for it might cost him a prospective future employer.
St. Louis will be one of the contenders looking to boost its outfield offense but, even if the Reds would be open to trading within its division, the bad blood would probably be enough for the Cards to pass on any deal for Castellanos. His numbers within the division, though, might cause St. Louis to become more willing to let bygones be bygones.
His overall average is higher against his central opponents, all but one a strong contender for the championship. Castellanos could really provide needed pop to the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, in addition to the aforementioned Cardinals.
Take him out of the Central, and Castellanos is still a pretty good hitter. He will not boast anywhere near the .340 batting average he has now, a stat greatly boosted by a .412 batting average in Cincinnati and a .417 mark in Wrigley.
It is his power that would suffer drastically, wherever he might happen to end up. Castellanos has thrirteen home runs this season, but only two have been hit away from Great American Ball Park.
Other than a home run in Coors Field and another in St. Louis, Castellanos has been shut out everywhere but his home stadium. That fact, which most contending clubs will be considering come trade deadline, will make most General Managers shy about dealing for Castellanos.
Few trade partners will want to give up much for Castellanos next month, which is probably the best outcome he could hope for. After leaving Cincinnati his power numbers would dwindle, an obvious setback for a guy seeking free agency at the end of this season.
Knowing he is on a contending team, and realizing his numbers have been inflated by playing home games in Cincinnati, should convince Castellanos to forgo free agency. He has a contract for the enxt three years should he decline his opt-out clause, a decision that would seem to benefit him and the Reds for this year and beyond.