MLB rumors: Giants interested in free-agent slugger Nicholas Castellanos




 

Giants fans were scratching their heads and typing furiously Monday night when the team decided to part ways with center fielder Kevin Pillar.

The veteran tied for the team lead in homers with 21, made highlight-reel plays on defense and was one of the only players who hit with success at Oracle Park. One day later, San Francisco's front office reportedly is interested in a much more powerful bat in the outfield.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Tuesday that the Giants are showing interest in free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. The 27-year-old could be the perfect fit for the Giants, too.

Castellanos was an absolute star for the Cubs last season after Chicago acquired him from the Tigers at the July 31 MLB trade deadline. In 51 games with the Cubs, Castellanos hit .321 with 16 homers, 21 doubles and a 1.002 OPS.

And Giants general manager Scott Harris had a front-row view of Castellanos becoming a pitcher's worst nightmare. Harris was the Cubs' assistant general manager last season, and certainly had a helping hand in bringing the slugger to the Windy City.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he wants to add power to the Giants' lackluster offense, and that's exactly what Castellanos would do. Between Detroit and Chicago, the veteran hit 27 homers last season, his third straight year with at least 20 long balls.

Adding a right-handed power bat would be a welcome move, too, especially to Oracle Park. The Giants could place Castellanos at one of the corner outfield positions, with left-handers Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson occupying the other two open spots. Austin Slater could serve as a utility man and another right-handed bat, while lefty Steven Duggar would be a great defensive replacement with speed off the bench.

Castellanos also played the majority of his time in the field at third base to start his career, and has expressed a willingness to play first base when needed as well.

[RELATED: What are Giants' plans in CF after letting Pillar go?]

The Giants ranked 26th in all of baseball last season with only 167 homers as a team. They also were ranked 28th in slugging percentage (.392) and runs scored (678). Castellanos would be an instant upgrade offensively, and likely wouldn't break the bank.

It shouldn't take too much convincing from Harris for the Giants to make Castellanos a much richer man.

MLB rumors: Giants interested in free-agent slugger Nicholas Castellanos originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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