Yesterday the Cubs made the biggest trade of the season, acquiring Jose Quintana from the crosstown White Sox for a package of prospects. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports, however, that they may not be done yet:
That’s the thing about both the Quintana deal and any potential deal for Sonny Gray: team control. The Cubs could lose Jake Arrieta and John Lackey in free agency this winter and neither Jon Lester isn’t getting any younger. Quintana is controlled for the next two seasons thanks to some cheap team options and Gray is under control for multiple years as well. If Chicago can bolster the staff for the 2017 run, great, but remaining competitive over he next few seasons is obviously necessary given where they are.
As for Gray: he’s 4-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 13 starts. That’s not where he was a few years back, but it’s an improvement on last season. His strikeout rate has ticked back up some and his walk rate down some as well. He’d be a good pickup.
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.