Philly took on what would've been a mistake by the Miami Marlins

The Fish were lucky not to have signed Nick Castellanos
Nick Castellanos
Nick Castellanos / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The 2021-2022 off-season saw what looked like a major miss by the Miami Marlins. The Fish did not sign Miami native RF Nick Castellanos. This was such a big deal, because not only was Castellanos a local, but he actually wanted to sign with the team. Instead, he signed with the division rivals the Philadelphia Phillies. This led to Derek Jeter leaving the team out of frustration. It seems like it surprisingly worked out.

The Miami Marlins dodged a big one by letting Philly sign Nick Castellanos.

I remember the frustration of seeing Nick Castellanos sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. How could a hometown star signing with the division rivals possibly be OK? It seemed that owner Bruce Sherman was unwilling to spend money, thus forcing the team to be in the small-market tier. While we're still waiting for evidence to the contrary, not signing Castellanos turned out to be a good move.

Entering free agency at that point, he batted .278/.329/.486 from 2013 to 2021, suiting up for the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. This was pretty solid production, though his defense wasn't rated particularly highly. He did however have a strong platform year in 2021. That season, he batted .309/.362/.576 with 34 home runs and 100 RBI, in 138 games and 531 AB.

Castellanos's highest WAR was 3.4 in that 2021 season, as otherwise his highest was 2.8 in 2018. In other words, he wasn't an elite player, but was definitely a good regular. It was believed that Castellanos would be a middle of the order bat for Philly, but he's been demoted to the bottom of their lineup by this point.

In his first season with Philly, Nick Castellanos batted just .263/.305/.389, with a dismal 13 home runs and 62 RBI in 136 games and 524 AB. He was worth -1.3 dWAR and a shocking 0.0 WAR for the season. He improved in 2023, batting an improved .272/.311/.476, with 29 home runs and 106 RBI in 157 games and 626 AB. He was worth -1.5 dWAR and just 1.5 WAR.

Nick Castellanos is no longer a key bat in the Philly lineup, positioned as more of a bad contract that they're stuck with than a useful member of the roster. The Miami Marlins dodged a big one not signing him. He's a liability in the field who doesn't have an elite bat. He's certainly not worth the $100 million that he received.

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