Ivan Rodriguez won’t re-sign with Nationals, eyes backup role

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Agent Scott Boras told reporters at the winter meetings yesterday that Ivan Rodriguez won’t be re-signing with the Nationals, saying: “I think their plan at the moment excludes him.”

Rodriguez backed up Wilson Ramos this year, but the Nationals still have Jesus Flores around and there are a couple intriguing catcher prospects coming up through the minors.

As for where the future Hall of Famer may wind up, Boras indicated that Rodriguez will be looking for a backup role and “there are still a number of teams that are evaluating him and that situation.”

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post speculates that the Marlins could be a fit, as Rodriguez won a World Series there in 2003 and could play sparingly behind starter John Buck.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.