Welp, we might finally have an answer about Cincinnati's biggest free-agent.
According to MLB writer Paul Casella, the Cincinnati Reds are not interested in coaxing superstar outfielder Nick Castellanos back to the team.
"We have not been engaged with his representatives," Casella reports Reds general manager Nick Krall as saying over the weekend.
Castellanos is considered one of the season's best free agents, after an outstanding 2021 outing in which he batted .309, slugged .576, had 34 home runs and knocked in 73 extra-base hits. Castellanos also won the Silver Slugger award and was a starter for the National League during this summer's MLB All-Star Game (teammate Jesse Winker joined in that honor).
In November, Castellanos opted out of the final two years of his Reds contract, which was worth $16 million per year. Castellanos then rejected the Reds' Nov. 7 qualifying offer (the QO is set across Major League Baseball at $18.4 million for the 2022 season).
He later said he'd consider another offer from the Cincinnati Reds, saying, "Why wouldn't I? I feel like there's still a lot of very valuable pieces that are very good to win with."
But talks between the Reds and Castellanos died down in December when MLB team owners initiated a player lockout that froze all free agency moves — along with workouts, spring training and the start of the 2022 season — because of a contract dispute. That lockout ended last week, when MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association revealed that they had finally come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. Teams and players are now able to resume deals.
The 2022 MLB season will start on April 7.
The Cincinnati Reds went 83-79 during the 2021 regular season and missed out on post-season action with only a few games to spare.
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