Cubs heading toward a reunion with Nicholas Castellanos? It may be more likely than it seems.
According to the Chicago Cubs and Jon Morosi, the Cubs are ‘still pursuing’ free-agent Nicholas Castellanos. It is no surprise as he went on a tear last season, hitting .321/.356/.646 with 16 home runs and 36 RBI in 51 games. Needless to say, the Cubs and the San Francisco Giants have a dire need for him.
The Giants have a desired need for him in left field. There is .673 Ops, second-worst in the Majors. They need a left fielder as you can see, but does Castellanos have the grit for a left fielder? That would be determined, but he’d be an excellent fit.
Theo Epstein talked about how he would “love” for him to come back–but it wasn’t as simple as that. The one thing? Financial restrictions. The Cubs would not be able to outbid several teams, including the Giants. They opened up a spot for Kevin Pillar, who they non-tendered.
"“Love the way he plays the game and would love to have him back,” Epstein said in September. “It’s obviously a more complicated issue than just we do love to have the guy back. He’s worked long and hard to get to free agency. He had an unbelievable year — especially his time with the Cubs — and he deserves the right to take that into the free-agent market. He knows that we’d love to have him back, but he also knows that it’s not as simple as that.”"
And he knows that. Besides his love for the game, there be an all-out bidding war for him. Teams would be ecstatic for him. So that draws a little intrigue into the matter. No matter what, Castellanos would have a high-bidder for his services.
There’s another issue with the Cubs. Defense. Jason Heyward–a five-time Gold Glove Award winner–would have to move from right to center. That would leave Kyle Schwarber to occupy left field. This is a problem because A) Heyward’s better in right. And B) Castellanos isn’t very good in right field…at all.
So this becomes a predicament when signing Castellanos, but also moving Heyward to center field. Schwarber is content in left field. He may not be impeccable, but he’s solid.
Castellanos will look to stay in right, but the chances of that are slim to none. The Giants may be able to swoop him up or another team could pick him up. Either way, it seems destined that Castellanos is NOT going to end up with Chicago.