Chicago Cubs will never meet Nick Castellanos’ insane contract demands

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

MLB free agency is ramping up ahead of the anticipated Dec. 1 lockout – that is, unless you’re talking about the Chicago Cubs. Yet to make any significant signing this winter, you can rule out a Nick Castellanos reunion given the slugger’s demands.

Castellanos opted out of the final two years and $34 million on his deal with Cincinnati earlier this month and is no doubt one of the best bats available in free agency. But given he’s widely viewed as a long-term DH, a team giving him a seven or eight-year deal seems pretty unlikely, despite the fact he’s just 29 years old.

There’s no questioning his offensive value. With the Reds this season, he slashed .309/.362/.576 with 38 home runs, 34 doubles and an even 100 runs batted in. Cubs fans are all too familiar with the impact this guy can have on a lineup after his torrid second half with Chicago back in 2019. But if we’re talking about a deal that spans the better part of a decade, you can safely cross Castellanos off any wish list you might be keeping.

At this point, it’s hard to see Chicago making any substantive impact at or even near the top end of the market. After Jon Gray, widely viewed as a logical, cost-effective target for the Cubs, inked a four-year, $56 million deal with Texas, frustrations are definitely mounting among fans.

This team can stand to improve at virtually every position this winter, and there should be very few free agents Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins don’t do their homework on. With the exception of Marcus Semien, who also signed with the Rangers over the weekend, the entire class of free agent shortstops are still out there, as well.

Chicago Cubs will steer clear of deals like what Nick Castellanos is seeking

Very early on in the winter, we heard Hoyer is wary of those long-term, high-dollar contracts the top talent commands these days. That’s not to say the right situation won’t present itself, but, by and large, when we hear about someone wanting a seven or eight-year deal, you can assume Chicago won’t be among a player’s suitors.

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Adding a bat like Castellanos’ to the middle of the Cubs’ lineup would be a massive boost and give them a major presence to build around. But unless he winds up settling for something more in the four to five-year range, this is another guy with whom a reunion seems increasingly unlikely.