Report: Padres will be interested in Nick Castellanos following MLB lockout

Padres

Meg Vogel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors surrounding Nick Castellanos and the San Diego Padres have circulated again.

Insiders reported that the Padres were interested in Castellanos before the current MLB lockout began in early December.

It should come as no surprise that the Padres are interested in a hitter like Castellanos with a current opening in the outfield. The right-handed slugger has posted no worse than a 111 WRC+ in every full season since 2016. He is also coming off his career-best year with a 140 WRC+ and 34 home runs to finish 12th in National League MVP voting.

Padres San Diego Union-Tribune beat reporter Kevin Acee confirmed the team’s interest and expects them to pursue a power outfielder like Castellanos.

Castellanos will not come cheap for the Padres after a career year.

He signed a $64 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds. However, he opted out at the beginning of this offseason after his 140 wRC+ in 2021. It is expected that he will now sign a longer contract that will make him nine figures.

The Padres are currently near the top of the league’s payroll and will likely be in a money crunch as they near the luxury tax total that will be set once the MLB players and owners come to their collective bargaining agreement. That situation makes it difficult for the Padres to sign Castellanos, but his bat would surely make the addition worth it.

With Tommy Pham entering free agency, the Padres do not have a major league left fielder unless they wanted to trust Jorge Oña and his 12 MLB at-bats while also coming off a season-ending injury. They could also rely on Jurickson Profar, but he did not perform well at the plate or in the field last season.


Castellanos can fill that outfield hole, but it is also likely that a universal designated hitter will be implemented in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Given that Castellanos is also not a good fielder, the designated hitter role fits him better. The DH is not a guarantee, however.

San Diego and Castellanos can’t negotiate any deals until the owners and players come to an agreement. Fortunately, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. ESPN’s baseball insider Jeff Passan reported that the two sides would be meeting on Thursday, the first meeting since the lockout began.

Although we don’t know when Castellanos and the Padres can begin to talk again, don’t be surprised to see reports they did once the lockout ends.

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Dominic Stearn on Twitter
Dominic Stearn
Dominic is currently a Junior at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, studying Sports Journalism. He also hosts the "Devils Talking Padres" podcast and is the producer and co-host of the "Padres EVT Podcast.

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