The New York Mets have been busy this winter retooling their roster. After trading for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz, GM Brodie Van Wagenen followed it up by signing Jeurys Familia and Wilson Ramos in free agency. The Mets have aggressively and efficiently filled a lot of their holes, and they are still looking for a right handed hitting outfielder. It would make sense to consider some trade avenues to address that need, and one option the team is exploring is a deal with the Detroit Tigers for Nick Castellanos, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press reports.
Castellanos, who will turn 27 in March, batted .298 with 23 home runs and 89 RBI’s for the Tigers in 2018. Detroit is in the middle of a rebuilding project and may be looking to flip Castellanos, who is eligible for free agency after the year, for pieces that can help them in the future. The Tigers’ asking price for Castellanos is high according to Fenech, but it remains unclear exactly what it would cost the Mets to add him in a trade.
If the Mets are looking for a pure right handed hitter to add to the middle of their lineup, Castellanos could be an attractive fit because he is younger and more durable than one of the team’s top free agent targets, A.J. Pollock. Castellanos also can play either third base or right field, giving the Mets some defensive versatility and options about how to deploy their personnel. Assuming Yoenis Cespedes returns at some point in the second half, Castellanos could slide over to third base if Todd Frazier is not producing. Castellanos would have to start the year in right field, meaning Brandon Nimmo would have to start off in center, which isn’t ideal but something he is capable of doing.
In the end, the Mets’ decision of how to fill their hole in the outfield should come down to the best fit between production and acquisition costs. This is how the Mets ended up with Ramos instead of J.T. Realmuto or Yasmani Grandal, and it will be how the Mets choose between guys like Castellanos, Pollock, Adam Jones, or Yasiel Puig for the outfield. Ramos’ offense may influence the equation, but it certainly doesn’t appear as if the Mets are done shopping yet.