Rumor: SF Giants interested in power-hitting outfielder

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago White Sox / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

The SF Giants might be prioritizing starting pitching at the moment but they continue to survey the outfield market as well. According to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, Nick Castellanos is said to be "drawing interest" from both the Giants and the Miami Marlins.

Rumor: SF Giants remain interested in power-hitting outfielder

The Giants have been relatively active on the outfield market and have likely checked in on Mark Canha as well. Castellanos is another name that makes sense as the Giants look for a right-handed slugger to pencil into the middle of the lineup.

San Francisco expressed some interest in the 29-year-old in his last foray through free agency two years ago. However, Castellanos signed a four-year, $64 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds as it looked like they were better positioned to compete than the Giants at the time.

Of course, Castellanos' contract included an opt-out clause after two seasons which he exercised at the beginning of this offseason. The Reds seem to be in cost-cutting mode but they will receive a compensatory pick if the power-hitting outfielder signs elsewhere after he rejected an $18.4 million qualifying offer.

Castellanos just finished a stellar year in Cincinnati, posting a .309/.362/.576 line (136 OPS+) with 34 home runs, 100 RBI, and 95 runs scored while being worth 3.2 WAR across 585 plate appearances. This includes a seven percent walk rate against a 20.7 percent strikeout rate, so he is not the most patient hitter but he demonstrates good bat-to-ball ability. That said, power is the primary skill that he brings to the table.

The Giants' interest makes sense. As a team, the Giants posted a .752 OPS against left-handed pitching, whereas Castellanos dominated lefties to the tune of a .945 OPS. This is not to say that he would be used as a platoon hitter. That is not the case at all. Castellanos does not have extreme platoon splits, so he would slot into the lineup as an everyday player.

The veteran outfielder earned a National All-Star nod as well as a Silver Slugger in 2021, so his play received plenty of recognition. And, that is why he elected to become a free agent. Castellanos has been one of the better right-handed bats over the past few seasons and he is looking to score a lucrative, multi-year deal.

If the Giants' interest in Castellanos is serious, then the financial aspect of it should not be a deterrent. The Giants are better positioned than most teams to strike in free agency and the veteran slugger could be one of their top additions. Time will tell if there is substance to this rumor, but it does convey that the Giants are searching all corners of free agency.