Castellanos feeling good after meeting this club

January 6th, 2020

The Rangers met recently with free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, and sources told they are among the finalists to sign him.

Sources say Castellanos came away from the meeting with a favorable impression of the Rangers, who begin play at Globe Life Field this year and have added starting pitchers Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles since the offseason began.

The Rangers have prioritized the addition of a right-handed power hitter this winter and were among the runner-ups when Texas native Anthony Rendon signed with the division-rival Angels.

Castellanos, who turns 28 in March, has played right field almost exclusively over the past three seasons. He may remain there if he signs with the Rangers; Nomar Mazara led Texas with 100 starts at the position in 2019, but he was traded to the White Sox on Dec. 10. Under that scenario, Joey Gallo could play first base.

However, another option for the Rangers is to sign a relatively inexpensive third baseman, such as Todd Frazier, and move Castellanos to first base. Castellanos has Major League experience as a third baseman. A return to the infield for Castellanos would enable the athletic Gallo to remain in the outfield.

Castellanos finished 2019 with a torrid two-month stretch for the Cubs, hitting 16 home runs in 51 games while posting a 1.002 OPS. Castellanos responded well to the hitting environment at Wrigley Field, as well as the chance to play meaningful games down the stretch, following a July trade from the rebuilding Tigers.

The Cubs, White Sox and Giants are among the teams with interest in signing Castellanos this winter.