MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that the Angels exercised GM Jerry DiPoto’s option for the 2016 season two or three months ago. As Gonzalez details, DiPoto’s contract was for three years and included options for the 2015 and ’16 seasons. There have not been any discussions yet about extending him beyond the 2016 season.
The Angels, since DiPoto took over after the 2011 season, have gone 295-251. They made the postseason last year with a 98-64 record, but were swept out of the ALDS by the Wild Card-winning and eventual AL champion Royals.
DiPoto’s tenure also includes the signing of outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract in December 2012. Hamilton hit a paltry .255/.316/.426 with 31 home runs and 123 RBI in 1,017 PA with the Angels. Hamilton dealt with a drug relapse, which caused DiPoto and owner Arte Moreno to publicly criticize Hamilton before sending him to the Rangers in late April in a cash transaction.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already 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. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. 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. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.