Nick Castellanos Wins MLB Silver Slugger Award, Says 'Of Course" He'd Consider Another Cincinnati Reds Offer

Maybe there's still hope to keep Castellanos' big bat around?

click to enlarge Nick Castellanos has proven many times over that he's No. 1. - Photo: twitter.com/reds
Photo: twitter.com/reds
Nick Castellanos has proven many times over that he's No. 1.

Will it be the foundation for more awards as a Red or just a parting gift?

Cincinnati Reds outfielder-turned-free-agent Nick Castellanos picked up a 2021 MLB Silver Slugger Award Thursday night, celebrating an offensive season that positioned him for a much better contract. It was his first Slugger win.

The Silver Slugger Award from Major League Baseball is given to the player at each position in each league who had the best offensive season. In the outfield category in the National League, Castellanos beat out Reds teammate Jesse Winker along with Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies, Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Adam Duvall of the Atlanta Braves and Tyler O'Neill of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Here's what MLB writer Thomas Harrigan says in his writeup about Castellanos and other Silver Slugger winners:

Despite missing time with a microfracture in his right wrist and appearing in 138 games, Castellanos socked a career-high 34 homers and reached the 100-RBI plateau for the second time as a big leaguer. The right-handed slugger also set personal bests in average (.309) and OPS (.939).

On Wednesday, Castellanos learned that he did not win the Hank Aaron Award for the National League, losing to the Phillies' Harper for the National League (the Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrreo Jr. won in the American League).

Earlier this month, 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. In return for making the offer, the Reds will receive draft picks if Castellanos signs elsewhere.

Since the qualifying offer concept was introduced in 2012, only a handful of players have taken it from their home teams, opting instead to try for more money as free agents. Many teams extend the offer simply to acquire draft picks.

Castellanos is considered one of the best free agents of the current hot stove season.

But all hope may not be totally lost. During a call with reporters Thursday, Castellanos said he'd consider another offer from the Cincinnati Reds, WCPO-TV reports.

"Why wouldn't I? I feel like there's still a lot of very valuable pieces that are very good to win with," Castellanos said, mentioning Jonathan India (who is up for several awards for his breakout season) and All-Star teammate Winker.

Castellanos was a major bright spot in a 2021 season that ended with heartbreak, when the Reds were mathematically eliminated from postseason play on Sept. 28. For 2021, Castellanos batted .309, slugged .576, had 34 home runs and had 73 extra-base hits. Castellanos also was a starter for the National League during this summer's MLB All-Star Game (teammate Jesse Winker joined in that honor).


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