2. Nick Castellanos, OF, Tigers
The Tigers are another team looking toward the future, and while the Motor City Kitties would probably love to unload Miguel Cabrera‘s massive contract, it’s not going to happen unless they help pay the pact off.
A better alternative for a team like the Indians would be to pursue right field Nick Castellanos. The 26-year-old right-handed stick is batting .321 (.879 OPS). With a current WAR of 1.0, Castellanos would bring much needed stability to the Tribe’s outfield.
The Tribe’s used Tyler Naquin in right field, and the move has rejuvenated his career. Naquin played a lot of center field during the 2016 season, and had the infamous fly-ball gaf during the World Series.
In right field, however, Naquin looks much more comfortable.
The Indians have been careful as to how they’ve used Naquin, as the lefty plays primarily against right-handed pitchers. Of his 73 at bats this season, 68 have come against righties.
Castellanos will earn $6.5 million this season. He’s under team control until after the 2019 campaign. With the Tribe expected to be in contention then, adding his bat makes sense for the present, as well as the future.
The Indians talked with the Tigers about a deal for J.D. Martinez last season before Detroit eventually traded him to the Diamondbacks. The lines of communications should be open, and this is a trade to really watch for as the Tigers continue their rebuild.