Detroit Tigers: Now’s Not the Time to Trade Nick Castellanos


Despite reportedly receiving trade interest in Nick Castellanos, the Detroit Tigers shouldn’t sell low on the third baseman now.

According to Tony Paul of the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit Tigers have been receiving calls from teams interested in trading for third baseman Nick Castellanos.

"Another Tiger who could be traded, Nick Castellanos — yes, there have been inquiring phone calls — wouldn’t be nearly enough to balance the books to sign an outfielder. Castellanos still barely makes the league minimum."

Castellanos was a former top prospect — and still holds a decent amount of that prospect potential considering he’ll be just 24 years old when the 2016 season begins — but the teams in question probably aren’t calling to offer the Tigers top-dollar for his services.

Paul doesn’t give us an indication of how serious the phone calls are or what the Tigers would be able to acquire in a return package, but it’s likely that these calls are of the cursory “feeling out” variety. Castellanos hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his major league performance in his two full-time major league seasons (he’s posted a career .257/.304/.405 batting line).

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The offers coming from the other end of the telephone line are likely of the “buy low” variety from teams hoping to cash in on a breakout season from Castellanos. The Tigers could probably demand back a player with a higher floor for 2016 than Castellanos (maybe a better “win now” player), but they would certainly be giving up the potential for long-term value in the process.

For what it’s worth, the 2016 preseason Steamer Projections call for something of a breakout season for Castellanos. His projected .269/.321/.431 batting line would represent a career high in on-base percentage and slugging. It wouldn’t exactly be a continuation of his stellar second half (.269/.322/.478) but it would be a trend in that direction.

That batting line, combined with another modest improvement in his fielding metrics, could make Castellanos a solidly league average third baseman next season.

The Tigers don’t own a championship roster at the present juncture, and since they look to be at their 2016 payroll ceiling, they’ll have to hope for some positive breaks to help push them over the edge. Castellanos (who makes league minimum in his final year before arbitration eligibility) breaking out would be one way to gain some “free” wins over last season.

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And if Castellanos does begin a breakout trend, it would mean the Tigers would get four years of production out of him while getting to pay him below market value rates.