Nick Castellanos had a good spring, but the 21-year-old top prospect never really had a chance of making the Tigers and yesterday they assigned him to Triple-A.
Castellanos has ranked among Baseball America‘s top-100 prospects for three straight seasons, rating No. 21 overall this year, and while there wasn’t a place for him on the Opening Day roster Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that “he shouldn’t be [at Triple-A] for long.”
Castellanos has shifted from third base to the outfield and specifically now left field, and while very promising he’s played just 79 games above Single-A and zero games at Triple-A. And last season he struggled at Double-A, hitting .264 with a .678 OPS and 76/14 K/BB ratio. He was 20 years old, so that’s hardly an indictment of his long-term potential, but if the Tigers think Castellanos is ready to make a big-league impact in the second half that would be plenty fast.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.