Nick Castellanos is in the final year of his contract, and least in regard to a extension with Tigers he seems to think it matters what position he plays.
Entering Saturday’s action Nick Castellanos has a .260/.316/.446 slash-line this season, with seven home runs, 24 RBI and an AL-leading 21 doubles. Since the start of the 2016 season, he has a .282/.333/.489 slash-line (.822 OPS) while averaging 25 home runs and 91 RBI per-162 games.
Castellanos is also headed for free agency after the season, and firmly in his prime (27 years old) he’s sure to be highly sought after. Being as he’s in the final year of his contract, he’s also a viable trade chip for the Detroit Tigers.
Dating back to his time in the minors, Castellanos has played shortstop, third base, left field, back to third base and finally to right field on a full-time basis last season and so far this year.
Apparently, the Tigers wanted Castellanos to try first base last September. Via Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic, his response was not positive.
I was like, ‘No, man,’” Castellanos told The Athletic in May. “I’m gonna stick in right field, and I want to do good out there. If I move to first, it’s gonna be when I’m older and can’t play right field any more. Before that happens, I want to be (in the outfield).
On Friday, Castellanos added a caveat that would push him toward a position switch for the Tigers while also acknowledging the team is not likely to give him what he wants.
Castellanos seems to really think the position he plays matters, and it should matter in regard to the Tigers giving him a contract extension.
Over the last three seasons, he has been good for (or bad for?) -29 Defensive Runs Saved in right field. During the 2016 and 2017 seasons, he registered -25 Defensive Runs Saved at third base. His value is centered on his offensive production, and that value is actively depleted by how bad he is defensively.
Castellanos did cite how moving around the field has prevented him from getting comfortable at any spot, and there’s definitely something to that. But the broad idea the position he plays matters at all, to his present or future circumstance, is an illogical reach.