Current Detroit Tiger right fielder (and former third baseman) Nick Castellanos would be an intriguing, out of the box acquisition for this Giants team.
He has skills the San Francisco Giants should desire this offseason, while also having weaknesses they should want no part of.
Let’s start with the cons. He’s really, really slow and is consequently a terrible fielder. He was merely a below average defensive third baseman from 2014 – 2017, and really turned it down a notch when he was moved to the outfield last year, to the tune of a -2.4 dWAR. That’s … not so good.
There is no doubt in my mind Castellanos would struggle to defend AT&T Park’s vast outfield and maneuver its tricky obstacles. However, maybe putting him next to the rangy Steven Duggar in center field makes his job a bit easier, and it’s not like the Giants have shied away from putting defensive liabilities in the corner outfield in the past. At least this one can still rake.
He’s just 26, and last year was his first year as a full-time outfielder, so there remains a chance he can improve with more reps and experience out there.
If you want a middle of the order bat for cheap, they will have some warts.
At the plate is where he does his damage. Castellanos is a righty swinger (better for hitting for power at AT&T Park) who would bring balance to a left-leaning, contact-based lineup.
He has an OPS over .800 in each of the past three seasons and has hit 67 home runs over that same time period.
Last year was his best season yet, as he posted a wRC+ of 130, indicating he was about 30 percent better than the average hitter. For reference, the best a current Giant regular could muster in that stat last year was Brandon Belt, with a 107 wRC+. Now is the time for the Tigers to trade him.
In terms of cost, the Tigers will certainly want something in return, but they can’t reasonably ask for an absurd haul. After all, Castellanos has his limitations defensively (which will make some teams not consider him altogether), only one season of control left, and is projected to earn $11 million by MLBTR.
Anything more than an A-ball lottery ticket or one of the Giants’ many low ceiling arms that can’t stick at the Major League level would be too much in my opinion for a Castellanos rental. In fact, there may even be better options for the team in a few slides.