The Philadelphia Phillies have yet to get moving on a free-agent market that is already heating up out of necessity, but the ball is at least starting to roll.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Monday that the Phillies have had talks with free-agent outfielder Nick Castellanos’ representation as team president Dave Dombrowski attempts to fill the voids gaping in his outfield.
It became abundantly clear early in the offseason that the Phillies were looking to revamp two-thirds of their outfield after parting ways with Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera — and Castellanos would certainly be a major prize in their search.
The 29-year-old is coming off the best season of his career, slashing .309/.362/.576 (.939 OPS) with 34 home runs and 101 RBI. While his power numbers represent a career-best, he’s been one of the more consistent offensive producers in the game, posting an .853 OPS over the last six seasons.
Castellanos would have to make the shift to left field if he were to come to the Phillies, considering the natural right fielder’s spot firmly belongs to National League MVP Bryce Harper.
He also has a connection to the Phillies as Dombrowski was the man who drafted him in 2010 with the Detroit Tigers.
Because Castellanos turned down his qualifying offer from the Cincinnati Reds earlier this offseason, it means the Phillies would have to give up a draft pick as compensation.
But the Phillies are doing their due diligence elsewhere, including keeping tabs on Kyle Schwarber, per Jon Heyman. The slugging corner outfielder, first baseman, and DH mashed 32 home runs with the Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox in 2021, two years removed from a 38-home-run campaign in 2019 with the Chicago Cubs.
Out in center field, the Phillies have shown interest in Chris Taylor, who has spent the last five-plus seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s developed into a defensively-sound, consistent option at the position who has posted a .799 OPS during his time with the NL West side.