October 4, 2022

Phillies sign superstar outfielder Nick Castellanos

Cincinnati Reds' Nick Castellanos flips his bat after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of the baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Cincinnati, Thursday, April 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

As the night was dying down, Phillies fans were not happy. The Braves had picked up Kenley Jansen, and the rumors from the morning surrounding the possibility of Nick Castellanos coming to Philadelphia went silent. But of course, Dave Dombrowski pulled a Dave Dombrowski.

After more than twelve hours of silence, Jon Heyman from MLB Network announced the signing of superstar outfielder Nick Castellanos. The deal is worth $100 million over five years.

This signing puts the Phillies well over the luxury tax. I would expect the Phillies to spend more. Much more. Since they have already gone over the tax, they may as well go over more, as they do have the money.

Did we expect the news to come so abruptly? No. But looking back on the last two major signings, the pieces are coming together. Dombrowski stirs up the pot, does everything behind the scenes, and does not tell a soul until it is all said and done. Even though the fans hate it, it does make perfect sense.

Castellanos, 30, was drafted to the Tigers right out of high school. For almost the entire time Castellanos was a Tiger, Phillies current president Dave Dombrowski was his GM. Coincidence that the Phillies and Dombrowski have been chasing Castellanos since the lockout ended? I do not think so. There is also a connection between Castellanos and Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper. When they played for the USA team, they were roommates; and according to Bryce Harper, they still keep in touch.

Castellanos had a slash line of .309/.362/.938 and hit 34 home runs in 531 at-bats in 2021. Castellanos is also known for getting ridiculously hot at certain points in the season. In his first 250 at-bats in 2021 Castellanos hit for an average of .262.

As all Phillies fans know, the Braves are one of the most threatening teams in the NL East. They always give the Phils a run for their money. In 2021, Castellanos had 8 hits in 23 at-bats (.348 average) against the Atlanta Braves.

When Phillies’ first baseman Rhys Hoskins woke up this morning, he saw the news. “It was a pretty nice little thing to wake up to.”

Bryce Harper described the signing as “incredible.” Harper also mentioned that “[He] never thought that [signing Schwarber and Castellanos] would have happened.”

While the Phillies have a remarkable offense, their defense is going to be well below-average. Harper has had an on-and-off injury the last two seasons, and both Schwarber and Castellanos struggle defensively. In 2021 he only had two errors, but he does not provide much speed in the outfield and does not track down fly balls overly well.

With this signing, Kyle Schwarber will most likely get moved to the DH role.

So what are some potential lineups? Here is the one that I think is the most practical.

  1. Kyle Schwarber DH
  2. Jean Segura 2B
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins 1B
  5. Nick Castellanos LF
  6. J.T. Realmuto C
  7. Didi Gregorius SS
  8. Alec Bohm 3B
  9. Odubel Herrera CF

Right now, I think that Didi gets the Opening Day start, but Bryson Stott will most definitely become the Phillies’ everyday shortstop at some point in the season. Some people want to see Castellanos in the two-hole, to protect Bryce Harper. While this is a good idea, I think that Segura would be much more comfortable in the two spot. Also, having a big bat towards the bottom of the order would provide more depth in the 7-9 holes.

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