During the past five years or so the Cubs have been fortunate enough to sign some pretty big free agents. It started with Jon Lester, who joined a rebuilding team but of course a $155 million contract made it easier to sign. Yet, playing at Wrigley Field, being in Chicago and being part of the new Cubs culture has really meant something for free agents. After being traded from the Rangers to the Cubs last year, Cole Hamels couldn’t stop raving about what it felt like being a Cub.
Now, just as quickly as Cubs fans have fallen in love with Nick Castellanos, the 27-year-old outfielder seems to have fallen in love with everything that comes with being a Cub.
He’s been a perfect fit to the team and without him the Cubs are most likely on the outside looking in at the playoff picture with three weeks left in the season. They’re clinging to their postseason life at the moment and Castellanos has been at the forefront, trying to will the Cubs into October.
In his first 36 games with the Cubs Castellanos has 14 home runs, with a slash line of .347/.373/.707, good for a 172 wRC+. His 52 hits since the trade are tied for most in the National League with Anthony Rendon.
No, Castellanos won’t keep up his outrageous offensive pace, which would come out to be 63 home runs in 162 games, but he’s shown that his strong suits fit Wrigley Field perfectly. His hard-hit fly balls that were doubles in Detroit are turning into home runs in Chicago.
He really didn’t like Comerica Park because of the dimensions, but he’s certainly enjoying his time at Wrigley Field. And that doesn’t even include the hitting dingers part.
Castellanos is exactly the player the Cubs needed to give them a boost in 2019, and going forward too.
Via 670 The Score.
But Maddon painted a picture of a player embracing more than just the latest job opportunity, really getting comfortable in new surroundings.
“That’s a big part of why he’s been so successful here,” Maddon said. “He’s very comfortable in his own skin — ‘This is me, this is who I am. This is how I’ll react. I’m a good baseball player, and I’m here to help. I love being in Chicago and being a Cub.'”
After last offseason I have absolutely no confidence in the Cubs doing anything big in free agency, (looking at you Ricketts) but c’mon, bringing back Castellanos should be an easy decision for the front office.
Make it happen.