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Dodgers Interested in Right Fielder/Third Baseman Nick Castellanos

The winter meetings are underway and that means ridiculous rumors abound for all 30 clubs, but especially the Dodgers. The latest rumor has the Dodgers interested in Tiger’s right fielder Nick Castellanos. I can’t understand why though. He seems to be a poorer version of Yasiel Puig.

We know that the Dodgers are thinking of moving Yasiel Puig and he’s a bit upset with management over the lack of playing time against left handed pitching last year. He’s also in the final year of team control. The Dodgers also have a lot of outfielders and are interested in moving one or two of them. You would think that the Castellanos rumors could possibly mean the Dodgers are seriously thinking of actually dealing Puig, since Castellanos is primarily a right fielder and could be a potential replcacement. Would Castellanos be an upgrade over Pug? Or would he be a downgrade?

Looking at his numbers offensively and defensively it would likely be a downgrade. Castellanos is 26-years old and won’t become a free agent until 2020. With one more year of team control remaining it’s no wonder why the rebuilding Tigers are looking to move him. Castellanos made 6.05 million dollars last season so you would assume that he could get a decent pay raise in arbitration in 2019.

As for his offense, he’s another power bat with little on-base skills that strikes out too much. So I guess he’ll fit right in with the Dodgers. But it looks as though Castellanos greatly improved his batting and on-base skills last year. He’s a career .274 hitter and had never posted an OBP higher than .320, until 2018. Last year he slashed .298/.354/.500 with 23 home runs and 89 runs driven in over 678 plate appearances. His 130 OPS+ was the highest mark of his 6-year MLB career.

Unfortunately he doesn’t walk much. Castellanos walked just 41 times in 2017 and walked 49 times in 2018, which was another career high for him. He struck out 151 times in 2018 and 142 times in 2017. He averages around 150 whiffs per season since his MLB debut. However he did tally 167 hits in 2017 and 185 hits in 2018. Those numbers are trending in the right direction in terms of overall batting and on-base skills. The right handed slugger hit 26 home runs in 2017 and 18 home runs the year before. Overall he’s clubbed 93 home runs and averaged a 111 OPS+. He posted an .854 OPS in 2018. Playing half his games in a hitter’s park like Comerica, compared to a pitcher’s friendly haven like Dodger Stadium should skew the numbers a bit. At least you would think so.

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The great thing about Castellanos has been his health. He’s played in 157 games each of the last two seasons. Since 2014 he’s appeared in less than 148 games in only one season. He seems to be very durable. Now to the bad stuff.

He’s a dreadful outfielder. Defensive metrics hate his outfield play. Castellanos has played in right field in all but 9 of the games he’s appeared in. That’s 163 games in right field. The rest of the games he’s been a third baseman. He’s notched 527 games at third base. Of course the Dodgers wouldn’t need him to play third base obviously. He would more than likely play one of the corner outfield spots.

The numbers say that he’s been well below average at third and in the outfield. He cost the Tigers 19 runs in right field in 2018 and rated a -9 in total zone fielding runs above average. He has a career -18 rating in right field and has cost the Tigers 64 runs at third base. While he’s not the flashiest glove, he does have a strong arm. He notched 10 outfield assists last season.

There are some positives in acquiring Castellanos. His batting and on-base skills seem to be trending upwards. He has great power, and a strong arm. However his defense would be a huge downgrade over Puig, and he doesn’t have much contact skills or speed. He would come relatively cheap though, and we all know how much the Dodger’s front office would love that. Let’s see if there is any momentum to this rumor.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

17 thoughts on “Dodgers Interested in Right Fielder/Third Baseman Nick Castellanos

  1. They do not need Castellanos. They need to address the holes in the lineup, catcher, second base, and the bullpen. So far only trade today is Nova to the White Sox. Jays released Tulowitzki, and the Phillies, who look to be out of the Harper sweeps now, signed McCutcheon to a 3 year deal. New front runner for Harper seems to be the Cubs. Supposedly there will be a presser tomorrow announcing his signing. Headline on Dodgers MLB page says they do not feel they need to make a splash…..funny, it said the same thing last year at the time and they did not do anything earth shattering except deal for Kemp.

  2. Package,
    You misunderstood me, Ownership is totally responsible for what we are getting, ownership hired people or hired the people that convinced them that the cyber way should be the new Dodgers Way. I hate the total reliance on cyber geek shit, yes it can be a useful tool but the computer shouldn’t be the manager of the club. So why do we have Friedman in the front office? because ownership bought into what he was selling. Why do we have Roberts as manager? because Roberts agreed to completely follow the designs that Friedman has for putting a team on the field. Just curious, exactly how many years and to what level did Friedman play this game that he now claims to understand and understand it to the level to build a championship club?

    1. TrueBlue
      I don’t think Friedman has much baseball experience, in any form.haha Yes, I agree that ownership bought into his BS but believe me they do not want the public raising hell with them. I was referring to obtaining players or not, good or bad. They do not want the Pub. Better to blame Geek Guy.

      1. Thank you, I asked a rhetorical question regarding Friedman’s lack of any real world knowledge regarding playing baseball (like Brutus). His knowledge is only what he has read or heard someone else say (like Brutus). Why do teams hire past players, at least at some level of professional sports, because they don’t have just book knowledge but have real world knowledge. Now we have a manager that actually has real world knowledge but has to totally chuck it and go with a computer dictating his moves and line-ups, I personally don’t believe that Roberts is a good field decision maker, in fact he is terrible.

  3. Rosenthal:

    The Reds and Dodgers have talked multiple times, sources tell The Athletic. Different packages being discussed; Puig in play as well as other LAD outfielders, pitchers. Dodgers want to clear spots &/or money for other pursuits. Puig projected $11.3M in arb, Alex Wood $9M.

    In one variation of this deal, the Dodgers would take back Homer Bailey from the Reds and his remaining $28M commitment as a way of buying prospects. Bailey’s CBT number (average annual salary in multi-year deal) is $17.5M. Deal complex, still in discussion, not close.

    1. In addition to the above:

      Sources indicate one of the players the #Dodgers are considering in the Puig deal from the Reds is AA RHP Vladimir Gutierrez who went 9-10 with a 4.35 ERA with 145 Ks and 38 BB in 147IP.

  4. Oh yeah….I can see it now, Friedman gets crap and the Reds get Puig….typical Andy. Puig will hit 30 plus homers in that ball park, he improves the Reds outfield defense and puts Scott Schebler out of a job.

      1. What prospects? You really believe they are going to trade Puig for prospects when they supposedly are tying to win now>? They had better trade him to fill holes.

        1. I don’t think winning now is a problem. THEY ARE winning now. Obviously fill holes, but the report is the Dodgers are willing to take on Bailey from the Reds (who this discussion is about) in exchange for prospects.

          1. Shoot that rumor down for now. Dodgers are on Bailey’s no trade list as a 5-10 man. He has not changed that list as of now.

  5. Rosenthal just reported about 30 minutes ago that the Dodgers are in talks with St Louis about 1st baseman Jose Martinez…makes less sense than Bailey does,,,,,,

    1. Total sense, every team needs at least 3 or 4 1st Basemen, duh, doesn’t everyone know that? We only have Bellinger, Muncy, Turner, Kike and Farmer capable of playing that position, so it is time to add another because a computer gave the command.

      1. These have become the blah winter meetings all talk and little movement. Lots of rumors, nothing solid yet. Happ about to sign a 3 year deal with the Bombers. Only interesting rumor is the Reds trying to pry Realmuto from the Marlins and then flip him to LA.

  6. As of right now, midnight of the 3rd and last day of the meetings, since most execs leave after the rule 5 draft tomorrow, there has not been one single major trade made at these meetings. The biggest name free agent signed is McCutcheon. Oh yeah, Lynn and Morton have signed, so has JA Happ pending a physical. But the only trade so far has been Tanner Roark from the Nats to the Reds for Tanner Rainey. Bour signed with the Angels. Andy and the Dodger FO have not done one single thing so far. Puig is now not part of any trade with the Reds, they are pushing to send Kemp and Wood to the Reds in any trade.

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