The Miami Marlins aren’t necessarily in a position to turn down top-tier talent considering their current situation. But that’s what they did with All-Star outfielder Nick Castellanos.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald Tuesday, Castellanos had “great interest” in signing with the Marlins, which piqued the interest of former team CEO and Baseball Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter. However, the team is opting not to pursue him.
It remains to be seen if that was one of the factors that played into Yankees legend stepping down from his position with the team on Feb. 28.
“The vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead,” Jeter said at the time. “Now is the right time for me to step aside as a new season begins.”
The Marlins have long acted like a small-market team, purging its talent with an eye on the books rather than success on the field. It’s a major reason why they’ve had losing seasons in all but seven years of their existence with just one playoff appearance in the last 18 years — and that came in the 60-game COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.
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Castellanos, a Florida native, is coming off a career year in which he batted .309 with a .939 OPS, 34 home runs, and 100 RBI for the Cincinnati Reds. Over the last five seasons — first with the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs before heading to Cincinnati — he’s batting .286 with an .857 OPS while posting 162-game averages of 30 home runs and 97 RBI.
Wanting to control his own destiny after signing a four-year, $64 million deal with the Reds ahead of the 2020 season, the outfielder negotiated opt-outs after both the 2020 and 2021 seasons — the alter he took to hit free agency where he stands to cash in for a sizable pay raise.
It just won’t be coming from the Marlins, who, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, have suddenly experienced a change of philosophy when it comes to building a contending product:
Fish 🐠 game plan has changed. We heard yesterday that they have money and will spend it on players (but apparently, they will be different players) https://t.co/1wGf4mrRQd
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 15, 2022