The White Sox have struggled to find a long-term solution in right field.
It looks like a big name might become available for the White Sox. In 2020 they rolled the dice by trading for Nomar Mazara. That experiment was a complete failure. Mazara hit .228 and had only one home run.
Last season they tried to revive the career of an aging, injury-prone Adam Eaton. Eaton was DFA’d by July 6th after slashing .201/.298/.344. He also owned a career-high 25.1 strikeout percentage.
That opened a revolving door in right field that included Adam Engel, Brian Goodwin, Gavin Sheets, and Leury Garcia. Goodwin was nothing special, Garcia is better suited for a utility role, and Sheets defense leaves a lot to be desired.
Adam Engel is a solid player and would be a serviceable option in right field if he was reliable. Unfortunately, he can’t stay on the field. He only played in 39 games this season. On top of that, he was back up in the final two games of the ALDS which doesn’t exactly inspire a ton of confidence. Luckily for the White Sox, a high-caliber right fielder just became available.
Castellanos Opting Out Of Contract
According to Jon Heyman, Nick Castellanos is planning to opt out of his current contract with the Cincinnati Reds with $34 million and two years remaining on his deal.
Castellanos is coming off a phenomenal season with the Reds. The 29-year-old hit and posted a .309 batting average and a .939 OPS en route to his first All-Star appearance. He also had 34 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Nick Castellanos will obviously opt out of his deal with $34M and 2 years to go. Still only 29, he posted a .939 OPS for the Reds this year. The Reds do have interest in retaining him following his All-Star season.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 20, 2021
Chicago baseball fans are very familiar with Nick Castellanos. He tormented the White Sox as a member of the Detroit Tigers before being traded to the Chicago Cubs and nearly single-handedly sparking a playoff berth. He hit 16 home runs in 51 games on the Northside while hitting .321.
For a White Sox offense that struggled with consistency, Nick Castellanos would be a perfect fit. His power would play perfectly in Guaranteed Rate Field while simultaneously protecting an already menacing lineup. Castellanos’ 34 home runs would have led the White Sox roster last season. Pair that next to Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Yasmani Grandal, and Yoan Moncada and you have this centuries murders row.
Will The White Sox Pay Up?
The ALDS showed that the White Sox are not as close to the dominant World Series contenders that fans initially thought. The need to make some upgrades.
Unfortunately for the White Sox, they will have plenty of competition if they want to acquire Castellanos services. The Reds do have interest in retaining their star so Jerry Reinsdorf will have to pony up some major cash. Reinsdorf and spending money don’t exactly go hand in hand. Rick Hahn also had an opportunity to make a bid for Castellanos when he was a free agent in 2019 failed to do so. The last offseason George Springer, Micheal Brantley, Eddie Rosario, and Kyle Schwarber were available and the White Sox front office didn’t jump on any of them.
We shall see if Hahn has a change of heart after watching his team get embarrassed by the Astros in the postseason. One thing is for sure, the right-field situation must be addressed.