Phyllis will sign Nick Castellanos

Phyllis will sign Nick Castellanos

11:24 pm: The deal does not contain any unsubscribe conditions, Tweets Bob Nightingale from USA Today.

10:32 pm: It’s a five-year, $100 million deal, Hyman reports (Twitter link).

10:27 pm: Velez agree with the free midfielder Nick CastellanosESPN’s Jeff Bassan reports (on Twitter). It was MLB’s John Heyman chirp Shortly before that, the two sides were close to reaching an agreement. Castellanos is a customer of Boras Corporation.

It’s the second notable hit in three days for Velez, from I agreed to the terms with slugger Kyle Schwarber on a four-year deal on Wednesday. As teams like the Mets and Braves continue to add to their roster to fight for first place in the NL East, the Phils have added impressive bats to their mid-rankings.

Castellanos, 30, became a free agent in November after he exercised the opt-out clause and has walked away for the last two years and remains $34 million in a four-year, $64 million contract with the Reds. The decision was highly anticipated, given the strength of its Cincinnati production. The Reds made a qualifying bid for Castellanos, which he naturally declined, meaning it would cost the Phillies their second-highest pick and $500,000 in their international bonus pool. In the meantime, the Reds will receive a compensatory prize after the first round of the 2022 draft.

Castellanos added to a lineup that already includes Schwarber, the NL MVP . referee Bryce Harperall star catcher JT Realmotoslugger Reese Hoskins And the product steadily Jan Segura It gives the Velez the possibility of forming a dominant team – especially if young talents like it Alec Boom And the highest probability Bryson Stott They can establish themselves as major contributors to the league. As a team, the 2021 Phillies were a middle group group, ranking 13th in major scoring races (706), 15th in home runs (198), 18th in hitting average (.240), and 13th in home runs (.240). one day. – Base ratio (.318), 14 in hysteresis (.408) and tied for 18th in WRC+ (93).

Castellanos, who would presumably split time with Schwarber between the left court and the newly created National League hitting hole, wrapped up the best season of his big football career. In 585 games for the Reds, he has converted his .309/ .362/ .576 hitting streak to a career high 34 times. It doesn’t offer a huge walking rate, but the Castellanos cruise at a below average rate and are a consistent source of high hit rates and slow percentages.

A longtime consistent and productive hitter with his original organization, the Tigers, Castellanos took his game to new heights when trading Cubs in 2019. Since that trade, he has amassed an exceptional .292/.346/.571 hitting streak with 64 home runs and 70 Doubles and three times in 1052 games between Chicago and Cincinnati. That output is 34% better than the league average, measured by WRC+, and a little of it looks frustrating. Castellanos consistently records hit rates north of 40% and barrel rates north of 10% which, combined with his above-average bat-to-ball skills, lead Statcast to rank him among the game leaders in expected average hits and expected slowdown percentage based on annual.

Of course, adding Castellanos to a squad already facing a defensive challenge whose signature off-season addition so far has been Schwarber’s defensive challenge creates his own concerns. Castellanos has improved his right-field defense since his first move from third base earlier in his career, but he’s still considered a well-under-average defender in any of his corners. The 2021 Phillies already ranked last in the main competitions in the Defensive Courses, and this wasn’t a problem unique to last year’s team. The Phillies have been ranked among the worst defensive teams in baseball for over half a decade now, regularly trotting on substandard defenders and embarking on curious defensive experiments that have not proven successful (eg. Reese Hoskins in the left field).

Bringing the Castellanos into the mix won’t fix this longstanding organizational flaw, but it will nonetheless turn an already deep Velez lineup into one of the most formidable units in the entire National League. Given that the Phils also have a strong spin – Zach WheelerAnd the Aaron NolaAnd the Zach EvelynAnd the Ranger SuarezAnd the Kyle Gibson The hope is that the strong start and unwavering line-up can continue all day despite shady glove work and a crew with many question marks.

In order to get to this point, Phils will pay their payroll north of the basic luxury tax threshold. It’s not yet clear how the money will be distributed, but adding $20 million to the Philadelphia books will push their 2022 payroll to the $233+ million mark, according to Jason Martinez’s estimate. Menu resource. The financial breakdown is a moot point regarding the luxury tax anyway, as these numbers are calculated by adding the average annual values ​​of the team’s liabilities.

From a CBT perspective, Castellanos’ average annual value of $20 million is a relevant number regardless of how the money is paid. That would push the Phillies’ luxury tax account just north of $236 million, according to Roster Resource. That’s above the base threshold of $230 million for this year, making Phillies a taxpayer for the time being.

They can try to maneuver back under the tax. Phillies, head of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, told reporters at the start of the season that Didi Gregorios It wasn’t guaranteed to start the shortstop quest. His deal took a hit of $14 million CBT, so finding a recipient for that money could be a way to avoid paying tax. That would be easier said than done; Given the season Gregory just had, Philadelphia would probably have to include some young talent from an already weak farming system to liquidate that money.

One could argue that Phils shouldn’t care about tax at all. As a first-time payer, they are subject to a 20% tax on any dollar spent between $230 million and $250 million. As it currently stands, they will be subject to a fee of just over $1 million – meager money for a club that already spends more than $230 million on players’ payroll. The biggest deterrent to narrowly crossing the threshold is that the CBA contains escalating penalties for teams that break in several consecutive seasons.

However, the Phillies haven’t made the post-season in ten years. This is the longest active dry spell in the National League, with front office and owner John Middleton eager to pounce. The appointment of Dombrowski – a notoriously aggressive executive – suggested the property was willing to shell out some chips as part of an effort to bring a competitive team back onto the field. In one of the most impactful moves of his plus-year stint, he’ll bring in a player who’s all too familiar with him from the time they overlapped with the Tigers.

In keeping with a winning mentality now, the Velez are content to sacrifice a couple of draft options to bring the Castellanos into the fold. Given that Cincinnati made him a qualifying bid, Philadelphia would lose its second-highest and fifth-highest picks in the 2022 draft and $1 million in the international reward pool space in compensation for signing Castellanos.

Time will tell if Velez has done enough to overcome the above-mentioned and defensive concerns in a difficult division. They can continue to try to strengthen the roster, with center field, short base and third base all emerging as areas of different interest. Additional salary additions may come with additional tax concerns. The Phillies family will pay a 32% tax on any increases between $250 million and $270 million, with higher penalties if they exceed that limit. This kind of spending spree seems unlikely, but Phils has already pushed to previously unreached levels with the franchise hoping to make up one of the game’s most significant infractions.

Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.

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