The market for artistic free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos figures to be robust, though his projections have been running a little light at this early phase. Perhaps because some experts are only pegging him for $14 million in AAV over a mere four years, a few unexpected teams will jump into the mix. One such team is the Marlins, who MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports are “believed to be interested in Castellanos.”
While Nicky Two Bags is a South Florida native and could settle into a nice comfort zone with a homecoming, moving to Miami would nullify just about everything that went right with his game in Chicago. Wrigley Field’s cozy power alleys helped him hit more homers, while the smaller playing area in right field mitigated some of his defensive flaws. Then there’s the matter of playing for a winner after some dull seasons in Detroit.
Outside of the glitzier environs outside the stadium, playing in Miami would essentially be like traveling back in time to before the trade deadline. Since it opened, Marlins Park has been at or near the bottom of the league when it comes to home run park factor, which compares the rate of dingers at home vs. their rate on the road. With or without a gaudy statue to celebrate them, those cavernous confines see fewer homers than almost anywhere else.
Maybe that means more doubles as what would have been homers in other places find the gaps, but it could also mean some of that Big Nick Energy is gobbled up by the defense. And how much energy can there be in the first place when you’re playing for the Marlins? It’s beyond dubious to think that a guy who likened getting out of Detroit to breaking the surface after long time underwater would choose to tie cinderblocks to his feet and take a deep breath.
Castellanos is about more than just baseball and money, though, so maybe there’s something to it. But if I had to guess just based on a really brief appraisal of the situation, I’d say this is a ruse by Marlins leadership to act like they’re trying to spend money to improve the team by throwing both remaining fans a bone.