In an expected move, Nick Castellanos declined to use the opt-out clause in his contract and will remain with the Cincinnati Reds.
Castellanos, who is owed $48 million over the next three years, had to inform the Reds if he planned to opt-out by Friday night. With an expectation around the sport that teams are looking to reduce payroll this winter, it was an easier decision to bypass the free-agent market after his up-and-down season.
He holds another opt-out after the 2021 season, so he can revisit the decision again next year. Castellanos signed a four-year, $64 million contract in January.
Castellanos, who was one of the hottest hitters in MLB for the first two weeks of the season, set career-lows in batting average (.225) and on-base percentage (.298). His .486 slugging percentage was his lowest since 2015. He produced an incredible 1.251 on-base plus slugging percentage in his first 50 at-bats and a .644 OPS in his final 168 at-bats.
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There have been several notable players who had their team options declined, like second baseman Kolten Wong (St. Louis chose to save $11.5 million), closer Brad Hand (Cleveland wanted to save $9 million) and starter Charlie Morton (Tampa Bay declined his $15 million option), which signals that it could be a tough winter for free agents.
The expectation around the industry is that there will be a high number of players who are non-tendered this…