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Report: Nicholas Castellanos wants to be traded before spring training

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David Meter, the agent of Tigers outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, says his client prefers to be traded before the start of spring training, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. Meter said, “He wants to win and understands the direction of the franchise right now is to procure prospects. That being said, he would rather start with his new club going into spring training.”

Castellanos, 26, is entering his final season before free agency and has very obviously been made available for trade by the rebuilding Tigers. Last season, he hit a highly productive .298/.354/.500 with 23 home runs, 89 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. A former third baseman, he spent all of his defensive innings in the outfield, so he would could play corner outfield, third base, or DH for a new team.

The Tigers have reportedly drawn interest in Castellanos from the Braves and Dodgers, but both clubs recently signed outfielders in Nick Markakis and A.J. Pollock, respectively. The Mets also had interest earlier this offseason but their outfield may be full as a result of signing Jed Lowrie, as infield prospect Jeff McNeil will now get more playing time in the outfield. It is not clear which teams would now be interested in Castellanos, but free agent Bryce Harper may need to sign a contract first to clear the smoke.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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