The Reds “remain a player” for free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The extent to which the Reds are interested is far from clear, though. Cincinnati has already signed Shogo Akiyama to a three-year deal and has Nick Senzel, Jesse Winker and Aristides Aquino atop an already deep list of incumbent outfield options. And, unlike the Rangers, who are also said to have interest in Castellanos, there’s no option of plugging him in at first base, where Joey Votto is entrenched in Cincinnati.
It’s difficult to envision much of a fit in Cincinnati unless Castellanos winds up taking a short-term deal along the lines of the one Marcell Ozuna signed in Atlanta just yesterday. Even if such an opportunity were to materialize for the Reds, they’d likely still need to move an outfielder to alleviate the logjam that’d come with signing Castellanos. Corner outfielders have had a hard time cashing in this winter, and the market for Castellanos looks rather limited at this point. If he and agent Scott Boras are willing to wait things out, it’s possible that an injury early in camp or a Cubs trade that sheds some cash will change his market’s landscape. At present, however, demand doesn’t exactly appear frenzied.
More from the division…
- Marcell Ozuna asked his agent to initiate extension talks with the Cardinals in late June, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, but the Cardinals seemingly didn’t have much interest in exploring such a deal. President of baseball ops John Mozeliak said over the summer that the team preferred to address Ozuna’s contract status in the offseason — even at a time when Ozuna was vocal in voicing that remaining in St. Louis was his “priority.” Tyler O’Neill and Lane Thomas as the top candidates to step into the left field void created by Ozuna’s absence, though Hummel adds that GM Mike Girsch listed first baseman/outfielder Rangel Ravelo and outfielder Justin Williams as players who’ll get consideration this spring. Cardinals fans can still hold out hope for a more notable addition, but owner Bill DeWitt Jr.’s recent comments strongly suggest that’s not on the horizon.
- Retired closer Joel Hanrahan will serve as the pitching coach for the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate in 2020, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (via Twitter). Hanrahan held the same position with the Pirates’ Double-A club in 2019 and was the pitching coach with the organization’s Class-A Advanced affiliate back in 2017. It’s the latest step in a fairly swift rise through the system for Hanrahan — one that comes in spite of the offseason shakeup in the Pittsburgh front office. It stands to reason that whether it’s in Pittsburgh or elsewhere, Hanrahan’s rapidly growing resume will earn him some consideration for a big league coaching spot.