No opt-out for Castellanos, staying with Reds

October 31st, 2020

CINCINNATI -- An outcome that was expected, Reds right fielder did not invoke an opt-out clause in his contract ahead of a deadline that would have made him a free agent. That means Castellanos will be part of the club in 2021.

There was an 11:59 p.m. ET deadline Friday for opt-out decisions. Castellanos has three years and $48 million remaining on his deal but has a second and final opt-out clause after next season. The overall contract, signed in January, was for $64 million over four years.

Castellanos, 28, endured an uneven first season in Cincinnati. While playing in all 60 games, he slashed .225/.298/.486 with 14 home runs and 34 RBIs. But that came after he was hitting .340/.411/.840 with seven homers across his first 14 games.

Overall, Castellanos had a league-adjusted 102 OPS+ and he was also ranked among the worst outfielders by Statcast’s Outs Above Average defensive metric, worth minus-5.

Cincinnati also has power-hitting outfielders in Jesse Winker and Aristides Aquino. But having Castellanos remain means the Reds don’t have to seek another offensive replacement. The club could still pursue an impact bat this winter after it batted a Major League-worst .212 during the regular season and was shut out over 22 innings in the postseason.

The shortened season without fans in the ballpark has hurt the bottom line for many clubs going into the offseason. Since Castellanos has another opt-out opportunity next season, he could be in a better position to trigger it and cash in with an improved performance and stronger free-agent market if conditions improve regarding the pandemic.