Tigers right fielder Nicholas Castellanos has hired the Boras Corporation to represent him moving forward, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports (Twitter link). The chance in representation comes just months before he’s slated to become a free agent for the first time.
Castellanos, 27, was previously represented by SportsMeter, making the switch an interesting one. SportsMeter and the Boras Corporation are the two agencies representing the game’s top two unsigned free agents in Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel, respectively. Boras Corp is obviously among the game’s largest agencies and has a longer track record, though both outfits in this equation had some misses this offseason. In addition to the fact that Keuchel remains unsigned, both Martin Maldonado and Gio Gonzalez have left Boras Corp in the past month due to apparent unhappiness with their own open-market experiences.
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That said, there are certainly some parallels between Castellanos and another prominent Boras client: J.D. Martinez. Beyond the fact that both have patrolled right field at Comerica Park, each is a defensively challenged slugger. Bat-only players have not been in particularly high demand of late, so a relatively limited market is to be expected. Castellanos can’t match Martinez’s track record at the plate, but he will have age on his side; the former will be selling his services beginning with his age-28 season, whereas the latter didn’t become a free agent until he’d already turned 30. That’s not to say that anyone should expect a $100MM+ contract for Castellanos in free agency, but the fact that the Boras Corporation has successfully brokered a sizable contract for a player with a similar skill set quite likely held some appeal in this case.
There is still nearly a full season left for Castellanos to demonstrate some improvements in his glovework. The DRS grading system has smiled upon his efforts thus far, though UZR remains unmoved. If he can prove himself to be even a palatable performer in right field, the slate of potential suitors might expand appreciably. Clubs with interest in the bat will surely have their scouts take a close look to see whether — and for how long — Castellanos can be trusted on the outfield grass.