Tigers Reportedly Want High Return for Nick Castellanos

(Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

While there has been a ton of speculation as to how the Dodgers plan on lining up their outfield crew in 2019, many pundits feel that the club is considering a bonafide right-handed bat to replace the production of Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, especially if progress fizzles in the pursuit of Bryce Harper.

One name that has surfaced even before the seven-player trade with Cincinnati went down is Detroit right fielder Nicholas Castellanos.

According to recent news, though, there is a huge roadblock standing between the Dodgers and the Tigers in terms of completing a deal. Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times has reported that the Tigers want either Alex Verdugo or Keibert Ruiz in a return package, which has seemingly sent the Dodgers looking elsewhere.

The problem is that Castellanos will be eligible to file for free agency after the 2019 season, and it really doesn’t make sense for Los Angeles to ship out one of its Top 3 prospects for a single year of Castellanos’ service. Besides that, everything else appears favorable, in particular his salary. Matt Swartz of MLBTR has Castellanos projected to earn $11.3 million in 2019 after the arbitration dust settles, which is ironically the identical amount that Puig is guesstimated to receive.

Last year, Castellanos slashed .298/.354/.500 with 23 long balls, 89 RBI and a whopping 46 doubles, producing an impressive 4.7 oWAR. In 2017, he hammered 26 homers and 101 RBI but tallied a slightly lower slash line of ..272/.320/.490.

The 26-year-old Florida native broke into the big leagues as a third baseman, but switched full-time to right field after his 2017 campaign. In 2018, he appeared in 156 games with the Tigers, logging 142 games in right field and 14 at DH. Despite him settling down as an everyday outfielder, his defensive metrics are not overly impressive, probably because of his lack of superior range.

Verdugo hit an impressive .329/.391/.472 with 10 homers over 343 AB last year at Triple-A to lead OKC in hitting. Although he’s primarily a center fielder, he can capably handle all three outfield spots. Despite Joc PedersonChris Taylor and Cody Bellinger being very capable center fielders, many pundits view Verdugo as the Dodgers’ center fielder of the future. But while he doesn’t even compare any one of those guys in the power department, Verdugo almost never strikes out, and has become known as an on-base machine. Unlike the aforementioned trio, he knows how to shorten up his swing while hitting to all fields. He’s capable of stealing bases in the double-digits, and despite his lack of long balls, Verdugo has the strength to occasionally muscle a ball to the deep part of the yard. In addition to all his other minor league accolades, he was tabbed as having the best outfield arm in the PCL by Baseball America for the 2017 season.

Of course, Verdugo hasn’t quite put up elite numbers during his short stints in the majors. In 2018, he hit .260/.329/.377 when he was on the big league roster, which is definitely serviceable by many standards, yet because of his lack of power, his .705 OPS and 93 OPS+ rank several ticks below the MLB norm. Still, scouts believe that things may begin to click for the left-handed hitter once he’s able to settle down with regular playing time. He’s still ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the entire system, according to MLB Pipeline.

As far as Ruiz goes, the 20-year-old native of Venezuela spent all his time at Double-A Tulsa last year, where he hit .268/.328/.401 with 12 long balls in an extremely pitcher-friendly Texas League. He was named to the club’s 40-man roster in November, which means he’s almost guaranteed big league action in September of 2019. At the moment, he’s ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Los Angeles system and is viewed by many to be the Dodgers’ catcher of the future. We took an in-depth look at the switch-hitting backstop as recently as last March.

As it stands now, considering all the available resources, the Dodgers have Verdugo, Pederson, Taylor, Bellinger, Andrew Toles and Enrique Hernandez at their disposal to assemble a big league outfield for 2019.


53 thoughts on “Tigers Reportedly Want High Return for Nick Castellanos

  1. How is Castellanos worth a one or a three when Puig was only worth a 7 or a 20 depending on who you think got traded for Wood? Tigers are crazy, move on Andrew, spend the money to sign Harper, or pollock.( pollocks health still scares me )

  2. Yaz turned down 4 years $60 mil from the Mets. I bet he feels like a gigantic idiot right now. He got greedy.

  3. Trading for Castellanos would be a major downgrade from Puig because he is a terrible fielder. The only way they should look into Castellanos is to flip him in a 3 way trade for a pitcher. I just don’t see many options, free agent or trade market, that are better than Verdugo right now. It’s pretty much either take the Harper plunge or give Verdugo his shot. I still want Kluber I just wish there was a way to get him without giving Verdugo up. Maybe if they sent Stripling and one of Ruiz or Smith along with Dustin May and DJ Peters.

  4. Agree with Keith. I’d rather keep Verdugo and let him learn to get on at .350 and slug .450. He could start in center or right and eventually bat leadoff. Castellanos is an American League player. Move on.

    As for Pollock I’m sticking with – nope. If he was 3 years younger I might feel differently about him.

  5. I liked the thought of kluber coming to LA, but he is off the market, Realmuto is good, but the price is to steep, Haniger is off the market, Jose Martinez, and Castellanos’ defense are so bad they should be at DH. What the heck are we gonna do???

    1. Verdugo always had decent splits in the minors—maybe they’ll give him a chance to play every day. And Tolesy’s splits were never quite exaggerated as Joc’s, so there’s always him, too.

  6. I wish Michael Brantley was still on the market because he would have been a good replacement in RF but of course Houston gets better. The good news is Verdugo is the exact same type of player. The more I think of it the more I just think the smart move is to give Verdugo a chance. I wonder what Tampa would want for Blake Snell? Probably the first born child of every person on the planet but how cool would Kershaw, Buehler and Snell be?

  7. Outfielders who are still free agents…Dietrich, Garcia, Gomez, C. Gonzalez, M. Gonzalez, Granderson, Grossman, Guyer, Holiday, Jackson, Jay, Jones, Joyce, Markakis, Maybin, Parra, Pence, Pollock, Rua, Santana, Schuck, Span, Szczur, C. Young, E. Young. Catchers… Wieters, Vogt, Sucre, Stewart, Saltalamacchia, Rivera, Montero, Mesoraco, Maldonado, Joseph, Hundley, Grandal, Gimenez, Gattis, Federowicz, Ellis, Butera, By the way, Jones is not even rated as a premier free agent so he would come cheaper than Pollock. Any favorites on this list??? Maldonado or Mesoraco, and Jones for me.

      1. I have always liked Pence. He plays with his hair on fire. He is also quite the character. His skills have regressed some, but the guy can hit. Low risk high reward for sure.

      2. I’ve always been a huge Hunter Pence fan. We should hire him as a coach or for imparting his wisdom to the farm clubs but in what universe does he produce more in 2019 than CT3 or even Kike?

    1. I’m guessing Adam Jones is commanding about 15 million per year, but I’d wager his offers are coming in around the 8-9 million range, considering mow much his power numbers regressed last year. Might be worth a risk if he’d take 1-year and like 8 million.

  8. Alabama making the Sooners look terrible so far. Clemson kicks ND’s butt, 30-3. My 2 favorite college teams are USC, and whoever beats ND!!!!!!

      1. Sooners coming back. Will probably still lose, but their defense improved a lot in the 2nd half….

      2. Maybe Georgia fans have a legitimate beef.

        College football championships the last several years have been lacking for most of the nation. This one hasn’t even been played yet and the odds are Alabama beats Clemson again next year. How does the NCAA level the playing field? Salary cap?

  9. Castellanos is not worth what the Tigers want. The Dodgers are not trading either Verdugo or Ruiz for a guy who cannot field all that well and only has one year of team control left. According to all the twitter talk, Machado will be a Yankee. I expected that. I also expect Harper to choose the Cubs. Ends a couple of controversy’s if he does. A. What number do the Dodgers give him since many Dodger fans think giving him Fernando’s 34 is tantamount to treason, and how far over the CBT is the front office willing to go. By the way, Fernando, as good as he was is not a HOF worthy pitcher. He was good. For the first 7 years of his career. After that, he was at or below .500 in wins most of the time. Injuries took their toll. The only number the Dodgers have retired for a player who is not in the hall is Jim Gilliam. Difference between Gilliam and Valenzuela is that Jr. was a career Dodger and a beloved coach before he passed suddenly in 1978. Valenzuela played for 5 other teams after he left the Dodgers in 1990. He played 7 more years and after he left the majors he pitched quite a few years in the Mexican League. You do not get your number retired simply because you are as popular as he was. I liked the guy, but the only Dodger who is not in the hall that I think belongs there is Gil Hodges. That he is not there is a travesty as his numbers are very similar to Tony Perez, who is in the hall. Gil has been screwed over and over. He belongs there with Jackie, Duke, Pee Wee and Campy.

    1. A lot of names listed up there Bear. Do any of them do anything more than fill a roster spot?

      I’m sure, like every GM, Friedman has a “big board” and he’s going through the names every day. Well, maybe not today. Today the Rams play the 9ers and I’m sure everyone in LA will be glued to their tv. (Does he even live in LA?). We are still favorites to win the West (Quackenbush put us over the top) with the Cubs next up. If they should land Harper they would probably pull even, who knows. The same three AL teams are at better odds, as they should be. There’s a reason all that is true. Even with the unloading of around 9 wins above replacement we are still the best team in the NL, which probably says more about the league than it does about us.

      Don’t you just love this time of year? The weather sucks, credit cards are maxed out all over the country and baseball sleeps. The bears have the right idea.

      1. I like Marwin Gonzalez and Jones. I think Jones could be had on a very reasonable contract. He is a RH hitter with some pop and a plus glove. A change of scenery might be just the thing for him. Gonzalez is versatile. He can play the infield also. Like I was telling El Jefe, Friedman will not do anything until after the new year. You think your weather sucks, we have snow in the forecast come Tuesday. That and temps below 10 degrees. But relax, pitchers and catchers report in about 45 days.

      2. Last I heard Friedman lived in Pasadena in a pretty spectacular home overlooking Brookside golf course. Google it. I have it on good authority that he won’t be watching football today since he knows he has to complete that trade for me by midnight tomorrow. Asked me to bring over a white board and a marker so we can go over possibilities one last time before he pulls the trigger. He’s furnishing bagels and coffee.

    1. Kluber is supposedly off the market right now. Why would Detroit even make this deal? They are asking for way more than just Verdugo. And the Indians want young outfielders who are under team control. Castellanos can walk after the season…..

  10. I like Gonzalez too. He’s listed as a switch hitter, with what little pop he has against RHP. He’s also a 30 year old utility guy that made over $5 million last year. What will he cost and what do you do with our other 2 utility guys?

    We don’t need a guy like Hernandez, we need guys like Realmuto, Kluber and Harper. If. NOT those guys, then players like them. We need to add the 0WAR we lost and we need to improve our post season pitching. Anything else is just going to yield similar, or less than, results.

  11. I do not know what the answer is. Hell, let the kids play. How do we know Barnes cannot handle the job until he is given the opportunity to do so. He does well in spring, let Gale handle the backup duties until Smith or Ruiz are ready. Give the second base job to Kike or Taylor, or platoon with Muncy. I really do not like him at 1st base anyway. That means you need to find a RH hitting outfielder with some pop. Realmuto is not an option at the cost the Marlins are asking for. The last couple of things I have read say that Kluber is off the market. I also doubt the Dodgers are going to pony up the kind of contract that Harper wants. Sign Kuechel, or find a trade partner besides the Indians with a decent starter as the target. There are lots of players out there. Trade for Sonny Gray. Hell do something. El Jefe is peeing his pants waiting for Ol Andy to get off the pot. All I know is that they have not accomplished one single thing so far except signing Kelly

    1. There is still plenty of time. Forget the idea of something by tomorrow. Jefe set himself up by saying something will happen by then. I’m not expecting anything until after the excitement of Alabama Clemson has cleared the national consciousness. Harper and Machado will make their decision sometime in January and basic roster construction will be done before mid February. Waiting anxiously for some big deal is not part of my day to day. I got other things to do – like chopping more firewood today before the Rams game. The Friedman Follies are not on my schedule. That said, I too wonder what his plan to replace the wins he has traded is. Better be good or the Cubs will pass us.

      1. Yeah. El Jefe messed up this time. Spring starts in 55 days. Pitchers and catchers report in 45. Today is Koufax’s 83rd birthday. Still the best I ever saw pitch.

    2. Now wait a minute Bear. What the hell kind of snide comment is that about peeing in my pants? Haven’t you ever heard of Depends for Men?

      1. Jeff D = Jefe Depends

        I refuse to wear diapers. Yet. I’m going with 2 pair of jockeys.

        This is where winter baseball talk takes us. How many days?

      2. Schlossman has just issued a press release denying any connection to this website whatsoever.

    3. Agree with most everything you stated. Agree with let the kids play. Whatever happened to finding the next Kluber, Harper or Machado? They may just be in the Dodgers minor leagues – but how will we know? I’m OK with Muncy at 1B, Taylor at 2B, Verdugo in RF and Bellinger in CF.
      Dodgers have a great off field strategy of waiting others out. The competition for Realmuto has dried up as well as Kluber (some reports say he is still in play). Less teams for them to compete with. It’s not enough for Friedman to add just any old journeyman hacks to the roster. He’s sifting through and scheming how to land the most elite players he can obtain. The exception is a catcher as they may settle for any proven back stop who is just OK as Smith will likely be in Los Angeles before long. I think AJ Ellis should be considered. He had a good offensive year in San Diego and could finish his career with the Dodgers.
      Finally, the Dodgers are waiting for Harper/Boras to realize that no sane team will ever give out 10 year contracts again – for anyone. Most have been a disaster by years 7+. The only exception might be the Nationals, White Sox and any other teams with super old owners who only care about now because they won’t be around long term to pick up the pieces of huge contracts gone bad.
      Prediction: Dodgers land Harper with a 5 year $205 million contract with Opt outs in years 2 and 4. He gets bragging rights for highest AAV ($41 million/year) and he’ll be a good investment on that contract.

  12. You guys are really dragging this downhill, maybe you three should go watch some football. You are all on a two hour time out.

    1. On a scale of 1 to 10, urinate.

      Old man humor. Is it funny? You bladder believe it is…. made me laugh so hard tears ran down my leg.

      Just goin with the flow here……

      Ok, I’m done.

    2. It is what happens when it gets boring. Not much action, so we resort to puns about incontinent bladders. By the way Ejoey, Detroit wants more than just Verdugo. And per reports, Kluber is off the market for now, so that trade is not happening.

  13. El Jefe! only 33 hours to go. Not looking good for you amigo. You should have offered Friedman some burritos or something. Does not look like they will do anything until after the New Year.

    1. Now 31 hours but I’m remaining calm. Think of how many trades go down in the last few hours before the July deadline. I’m not only going to be right on this but I’ll even pinpoint the time we first hear about whatever the transaction is. Someone will tweet about the trade/signing at approximately 3:30 PM PST tomorrow. By the way, you may very well have mentioned this in the past but where are you domiciled? Are you here on the west coast?

      1. I live in Canon City Colorado. About 35 miles west of Pueblo. I am a California native though. Born in downtown LA.

  14. Sounds very peaceful, especially compared to downtown L.A. I keep thinking that it’s time to get out of here but then inertia always takes over. That plus the fact that our three kids and two grandkids live here in SoCal.

    1. It is a small town of about 16,000. On Hwy 50 which goes all the way up to Grand Junction, and all the way east to the Kansas state line. We are in a valley about 8 miles east of the Royal Gorge. The Arkansas river runs right through the middle of town. We do have our own Wal-Mart super center. But their is no Jack in the Box! We have McDonalds, Burger King, 3 Subways, a IHOP, Chili’s, pizza hut and Dominos. A Wendy’s and a Sonic and a Taco Bell. Some local places too. There are 3 small towns kind of close together, Florence, Canon City and Penrose. The biggest industry in this area is Prisons. There are 7. Most of the big ones are out in Florence. That’s where the Unabomber is. The old state territorial prison is on 50 just as you leave town. Takes about 10 minutes, because of the traffic lights, to drive through on 50. John Wayne filmed part of the Cowboys at a place called Buckskin Joe’s which is no longer there, but was just outside of the entrance to the Gorge. He also filmed True Grit about 70 miles from here to the southwest. Jack Dempsey’s home town Manassas is a few hours to the south. Lots of places to fish and camp within 50 miles. Plenty of great scenery. On a clear day you can see Pikes Peak to the north, which is right outside of Colorado Springs. Denver is about 123 miles away. The closest mountain range is the Sangre De Christos.

  15. I did not move here from LA. I was living in Phoenix and had been there for about 12 years. I moved there in 1998. I was driving long haul back then. There are a lot of trucking company’s in Phoenix so it was very easy for me to get a decent job. My grandkids and youngest daughter were living there at the time. When I decided to retire in 2010 I moved here because I had some friends here and we were going to play music. My son lives in Denver, so it was not like I did not have connections in the area. I still try to get out to Carson where my sister lives about once a year.

      1. I have not been since I retired. I went a few times while I was living there. It is not as economical to go to a spring game as one might think. But it is a chance to check out the practice fields and see the players up close. I took a lot of pictures when I went. I also would go down to Tempe to see the Angels.

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