The Nationals have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with infieldeer Asdrubal Cabrera.
The Nats acquired Cabrera after he was released by the Texas Rangers last season and he had a great final two months of the season, hitting .323/.404/.565 in 146 plate appearances in 38 games. He was used as a utilityman, playing second, third and first base.
By bringing him back, the Nationals add to an already interesting infield mix, given that they just signed Starlin Castro yesterday, still have Howie Kendrick in the fold and top prospect Carter Kieboom is expected to at least get a chance to compete for a roster spot in spring training. Meanwhile, the Nationals are still reportedly tying hard to sign third baseman Josh Donaldson and would appear to be the only team free agent Ryan Zimmerman is considering playing for in 2020.
If the Nats don’t want to bring back Zimmerman — and if they lose out on Donaldson — the current setup would likely be Castro at second, Kendrick at first, and Cabrera or some lesser free agent third baseman like Todd Frazier or someone at third. Certainly in an ideal world they would allow Cabrera to be a utility-man.
Like I said: an interesting mix.
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.