May 16, 2022

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10 thoughts on signing Velez with Nick Castellanos

10 thoughts on signing Velez with Nick Castellanos

What a difference three days and two bats can make.

The Phillies woke up to a late-watch fan base by making a series of engagements this week that began with loyalists Brad Hand and Joris Familia, continued with Kyle Schwarber and culminated with the shocking addition of Nick Castellanos, who agreed Friday night to a five-year, $100 deal. Million dollars.

Here are some scattered thoughts and observations about Phils’ agreement with Castellanos:

It will make everyone better

Castellanos’ presence should influence the rest of the squad in a positive way. He would likely protect Bryce Harper, by preparing the opposing shooters and managers the type of poison-picking decision late in the games that Phillies didn’t have much time behind Harper.

With Castellanos and Schwarber each capable of hitting 30 people or driving in 100 rounds, Harper doesn’t need to put up with the offense for months like he did in 2021. JT Realmuto doesn’t have to be relied upon as a cleaning hitter or second-best producer, he can settle down naturally In a complementary offensive role. Realmuto’s strength lies in his overall skill set and, realistically, he’s perhaps more than a third or fourth offensive piece for a team with deep post-season aspirations.

Up and down the lineup, the Velez players should feel less pressure. That also includes Alec Bom, who will reach the bottom third of the lineup with less scrutiny on every AB.

Very fair price for Phils

The family of Philly Schwarber and Castellanos brought in deals worth a combined $179 million over nine years.

Chris Bryant received a seven-year contract worth $182 million from The Rockies.

Would you rather get Bryant or both Schwarber and Castellanos for $3 million less over two additional seasons?

Phils pays each of the new Dodgers less than $20 million a season. They ended up with both without having to overpay either.

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Castellanos blazing lines

His hot streaks look different, both in length and in importance. When Castellanos is locked in, everything seems to couple nicely with the gap.

In 2021, he reached 0.362 in his first 250 games.

In 2020, he hit 0.340 with 16 RBI points and 11 extra hits in his first 14 games, which made up a quarter of the season.

In 2019, he has made .312 s/37 doubles and 20 hrs in his last 85 games.

In 2018, he reached 0.342 in his first 55 matches.

In 2017, it was 0.378 from August 30 to September 30. 30.

Overall in the past three seasons, Castellanos have owned .880 OPS with an average of 162 games from 35 homers and 50 doubles. Not bad.

Build your squad

It will be interesting to see how Joe Girardi puts together this squad. Will Schwarber, with a combination of strength and choice of board, lead to an exit?

Does Phils Jean Segura hit second to get a high-stroke average player fast toward the top of the lineup, or hit him close to 6 with Realmuto or Rhys Hoskins in the two holes?

How much to consider splitting left – Schwarber, Harper, Diddy Gregory and/or Bryson Stott?

It’s worth noting that, for whatever reason, Harper has been far worse during his career than hitting third, fourth, or lead. It looks like he’ll stay on the triple hole after he hit the spot and won the MVP award at that spot a year ago.

luxury tax

Phillies fans became skeptical that they had bypassed the luxury tax several years after managing partner John Middleton said they would get the chance. These are the things you do when you have superstars like Harper and Zack Wheeler in their prime and under huge contracts and when you don’t have a stack of pieces ready for the major leagues coming out of your farm system.

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Phils is worth about $10 million above the $230 million luxury tax. If they spend nothing more between now and the end of the season, they will pay a fine of approximately $2 million. Since this will be their first year they exceed the tax, they will be subject to the lowest penalty of 20%. Exceeding two consecutive years and that rises to 30%. Three years in a row it amounts to 50%. This is important because Phillies will still have a lot of money set aside in 2023 and 2024, and if they progress to become a de facto competitor, they will not just stop spending.

Defensive limitations

There’s no denying that this Velez side veers off the offensive. In defense, they are nowhere above average except for Realmuto behind the board and possibly Segura in second. Harper was impressive defensively in 2019 but has been less than the last two seasons as he has dealt with annoying injuries, including a back problem that has caused him to change his movement.

Neither Castellanos nor Schwarber are famous for their defense. The Phillies will likely have to work their way up to winning one of baseball’s worst and always unpredictable defenses. They are well positioned to do so with Harper, Castellanos, Schwarber, Hoskins, Realmuto and Segura in the same squad.

Can anyone else move?

Hoskins’ status is worth watching. The Phillies don’t need to swap it out, but they have added two more bats mid-ranking, one of which can play first base, and Hoskins hasn’t extended yet. He’s set to become a free agent after 2023. Perhaps at some point, Phils is looking to turn his heart around for promotion. This should be the right kind of comeback, although a player can help just as much as Hoskins. There is no urgent need for Phyllis to make this move but it is worth keeping it in the back of your mind.

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This is why Dave Dombrowski was brought in

He spent everywhere he was and relied on his veterans more than expectations. This topic has not changed here. His Detroit date with Castellanos probably didn’t hurt.

draft choices

Velez lost his second-round pick to sign Castellanos because he had received a qualification offer from his former team, the Reds.

This is the fourth time in five years that Phils has lost a major pick by hiring a free agent. It also happened in 2018 with the signing of Jake Arrieta, in 2019 with Harper and in 2020 with Wheeler.

It works better

By a quick count, 16 or 17 members of the Phillies’ projected opening day roster of 26 were acquired through agency or free trade. This is not how most teams want to work to build a team that maintains success.

With a $240 million payroll and an expanded playoff field, Phillies should make it to their post-season in 2022. There will be no excuse unless several top players suffer long-term injuries. You should work this season.

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