The Tigers are more likely to deal 3B-OF Nick Castellanos after failing to reach agreement this winter on a long-term contract extension, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Castellanos is expected to earn $7.6 million through arbitration next season. He is also under team control in 2019, after which he is eligible to be a free agent.
The Tigers were gauging interest in Castellanos in early-November. I have no idea if the Mets were interested, but he's worth looking in to if Detroit is now motivated to move him.
Castellanos is a below-average infielder. However, at the plate, I like that his strikeout rate dropped for the second straight season, while his isolated power and fly-ball rates continued to increase. He also hit the ball as hard and as square as anyone in the league last season, according to StatCast.
Castellanos will be 26 years old next season, which is the exact right time a player of his stature typically begins to get more lift and drive in their swing. He has always hit the ball hard. If he's putting those skills together, he could be an absolute bargain for his salary. His glove worries me, but with Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores in the mix, the Mets have coverage. And, in the off shot David Wright is able to play a bit at third, Castellanos could be used in left or right field, where he played 40 games for the Tigers last season.
I have no sense of what Detroit would want for him in trade, especially since they can keep him and try to trade him this summer or next winter. On the other hand, he's coming off a breakout season, so now may be the best time for them to strike...
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the host of SNY's MetsBlog Q&ACast and the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!