The Rangers officially acquired right-hander Yovani Gallardo from the Brewers this afternoon in exchange for infielder Luis Sardinas and right-handers Corey Knebel and Marcos Diplan, but they looked into a more high-profile addition before deciding on the trade.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Rangers and Phillies had “in-depth trade talks” about left-hander Cole Hamels. However, Ken Rosenthal writes that money was ultimately the sticking point for Texas. Hamels is owed $96 million over the next four seasons with a $20 million club option (or a $24 million vesting option) for 2019, which isn’t all that crazy when you consider what Max Scherzer is getting. But they apparently felt that it wasn’t worth it when they would also likely have to give up a handful of their best prospects.
While the Rangers are now out of the mix for Hamels, the Phillies have no shortage of potential suitors. The Red Sox, Padres, and Cardinals have been mentioned most prominently of late.
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.