Chicago Cubs could see Nicholas Castellanos sign with the White Sox

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs will face plenty of competition for Castellanos

It remains to be seen if the Cubs will even try to bring Castellanos back this offseason. It’s hard to understate just how critical this guy was for Chicago down the stretch. After coming over just minutes ahead of the July trade deadline, Castellanos raked for the Cubs – setting the tone offensively.

In 51 games, he hit .321/.356/.646 and on the year, he narrowly missed becoming the first player with 60 doubles in a season in over a half-century. He drove the ball all over the diamond on a nightly basis and really brought a spark and energy that the Cubs seemed to lack for much of the year.

On paper, the team has an opening Castellanos could fill moving forward – but it would take some other moves. Barring a trade, Kyle Schwarber will return as the team’s left fielder coming off a career-high 38 home runs in 2019. Jason Heyward elected not to opt out, so he’s returning, as well.

Center field is the big question. In theory, if Castellanos returned, he would play right field and Heyward could shift over to play center full-time. Albert Almora looks like a potential non-tender candidate and it remains to be seen what role Ian Happ will play.

But that raises questions about the Cubs’ defense in the outfield. Will corners of Schwarber and Castellanos be enough? Heyward takes a step back with the glove when he’s in center over right – so it’s at least worth considering when we’re talking about such a move.