Nick Castellanos was arguably the Cincinnati Reds’ best player for the 2021 season. He finished the year as a leader on the field and in the clubhouse, often being the spark that the Reds needed. He put up some incredible numbers and was often the outspoken voice of the Reds, providing many memorable interviews throughout the year.
Castellanos is also in an interesting contract situation. He has a player option for the 2022 season worth $16 million dollars. There are some very convincing reasons for why he should opt-in and some very convincing reasons for why he should opt-out. As of now, no decision has been made and everything around the situation is purely speculation.
Why He Would Opt-Out
This directly affects the Reds and Nick Castellanos, who has an opt-out clause. If Castellanos remains, he would earn $16 million in 2022 and $16 million in 2023. https://t.co/aEcltpSWEN
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) October 12, 2021
Castellanos had an incredible season. Many would value this season as more than he was paid. He was one of the top players in the entire National League. For the year, he held a .309/.362/.576 slash line. He tallied 38 doubles and 100 RBIs. He also added a career-high in home runs with 34.
With an impressive season like this, many believe he deserves more money than the $16 million that he would earn if he opted-in to his contract. Choosing to opt-out would likely result in a significant pay raise, whether it be for the Reds or for another team. For many athletes, money is the number one priority. If Castellanos believes he can land a bigger contract, that may be enough reason to opt-out and pursue that option.
Why He Would Opt-In
With his son Liam by his side, Nick Castellanos spoke about his walk-off home run and being a part of the @Reds' hallowed history. pic.twitter.com/C91sfXzKxs
— Bally Sports Cincinnati (@BallySportsCIN) September 26, 2021
There is one main reason that Castellanos would opt-in to his option for next season.
He was a much better hitter in the Reds’ home ballpark, Great American Ballpark. In home games, he slashed an incredible .359/.407/.702. That would result in an other-worldly 1.109 OPS at home. To go with that slash line, he also tallied 23 of his 34 home runs and 73 of his 100 RBIs at home. This left him with a mortal slash line of .260/.319/.454 when he played away games.
Castellanos was a much better player at home. This alone will be enough to make him consider the option to opt-in and stay with the Reds for another season.
At the end of the day, money is king. Castellanos will more than likely opt out of his player option and seek more money. He is deserving of a bigger contract and that is what he will chase. He will likely get a deal in the ballpark of four years and $100 million dollars.
That doesn’t necessarily mean his tenure with the Reds is over. He has been very vocal in the past that he loves the Reds and has enjoyed being a part of their franchise. The Reds have also shared their pleasure of having him in a Reds uniform. The Reds are still a serious contender in the sweepstakes to lock Castellanos up this offseason.
Whether he resigns with the Reds or not, the Reds should be thankful for the service that they got from him. He was an incredible player on the field and a great leader in the clubhouse.
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