CINCINNATI (AP) – Free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos agreed to a $64 million, four-year deal in the Cincinnati Reds’ latest big-money move to emerge from years of losing, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Monday.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced the deal, which would allow Castellanos to opt out and become a free agent after the 2020 season.
It was the fourth significant move by the Reds, among the most active teams in free agency since their sixth consecutive losing season. The Reds have has committed $174 million to new players, including the two biggest free agent deals in club history.
Cincinnati signed second baseman Mike Moustakas to a $64 million, four-year contract and added left-handed starter Wade Miley on a $15 million, two-year deal. Japanese All-Star outfielder Shogo Akiyama got a $21 million, three-year deal.
Castellanos’ deal raised the offseason total of contracts negotiated by agent Scott Boras and his staff to $1,200,250,000.
Cincinnati’s biggest weakness last season was offense. They finished near the bottom of the National League in runs despite playing in one of its most hitter-friendly ballparks.
Castellanos batted .289 last season with the Tigers and Cubs, who got him in a midseason trade. He hit 27 homers overall, drove in 73 runs and had 58 doubles while playing right field primarily in Detroit and Chicago.
He joins a crowded outfield that will get sorted out in spring training.
Akiyama was a five-time All-Star center fielder with the Seibu Lions but could move to a corner spot. The Reds already have center fielder Nick Senzel, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Aristides Aquino took over in right field last season after Yasiel Puig was traded to Cleveland and had a sensational debut, but he slumped as the season closed out. The Reds also have Jesse Winker and Phillip Ervin.
Boras’ deals for nine players eligible for free agency totaled $1,082,500,000, which included contracts for pitchers Gerrit Cole ($324 million), Stephen Strasburg ($245 million), Hyun-Jin Ryu ($80 million), Dallas Keuchel ($55.5 million) and Tony Watson ($3 million); third baseman Anthony Rendon ($245 million); Moustakas ($64 million); and catcher Matt Wieters ($2 million).
In addition, agreements for 19 arbitration-eligible players totaled $117.75 million. That group included Kris Bryant ($18.6 million), James Paxton ($12.5 million), Cody Bellinger ($11.5 million) and Jackie Bradley Jr. ($11 million).
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.
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