Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos did not tell the team that he will be exercising the opt-out clause in his contract, according to multiple reporters. As such, Castellanos will remain in Cincinnati for at least one more season, before facing another opt-out decision following the 2021 campaign.
Castellanos signed a four-year, $64MM deal with the Reds last winter, and his original $16MM salary for 2020 was prorated down to roughly $5.925MM as a result of the shortened season. He is scheduled to make $14MM in 2021 and then $16MM in both 2022 and 2023, and the Reds have a $20MM mutual option on his services for the 2024 season that can be bought out for $2MM.
There wasn’t much doubt that Castellanos would pass on his opt-out opportunity, as the offseason marketplace figures to be a tight one for all but the uppermost tier of free agents. It would have been very unlikely that Castellanos would have been able to top the three years and $48MM he has left in his Cincinnati contract, particularly because Castellanos produced average numbers (particularly by his standards) in 2020.
It was very much a tale of two seasons for the 28-year-old, as Castellanos hit a scorching .272/.352/.691 over his first 91 plate appearances in a Reds uniform, but then only .197/.265/.365 over his final 151 PA. The end result was a 102 wRC+ and OPS+ for Castellanos, his lowest total in either metric in the last five seasons.
If Castellanos rebounds in 2021 and league-wide revenues are at least somewhat back to normal, he could explore using his opt-out clause in a year’s time. 2022 would be Castellanos’ age-30 season so time would still somewhat be on his side, and finding more than two years/$34MM could be feasible if he has another big offensive season under his belt. Castellanos’ future market would also be helped if the National League has adopted the DH by then, as his right field defense continues to be below average.