With the Cubs Convention kicking off a week from Friday, I understand that there are still a lot of hopeful fans out there than want to see a surprise announcement. Given the immediate impact he had – both on the field and in emotional connection with fans – I have little doubt that the number one guy whose arrival would thunder the Sheraton to the ground is Nick Castellanos.
… but I really don’t think it’s going to happen.
As we’ve discussed, the financial fit with the Cubs is nonexistent until substantial salary is moved out, and then even after that, the roster fit is imperfect unless a corner outfield job opens up without having to move Jason Heyward permanently to center field. These are realities I hate, because it’s not at all unreasonable to project Castellanos to really have a significantly impact bat with the Cubs for the next several years. He wants to return. The Cubs want him back. But it seems the higher priority at the moment is getting under the luxury tax, and it also seems that trading away Kyle Schwarber just to bring back Castellanos is robbing Peter to pay Paul (and is very unlikely anyway).
So, barring a series of shocking moves before the Convention, you won’t see an additional shocker in Castellanos walking out from behind a curtain.
And, at this point, I think you already recognize that Castellanos returning to the Cubs – even long after the Convention – is very unlikely:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 6, 2020
You can read Morosi’s report for the particulars, though you’ll probably note as I did that it sure sounds like it’s coming from Castellanos’s camp – loudly telling the world, with an elbow protruding, that he really did feel good about the Rangers, so heads up if anyone else wants to make a bid, cough cough.
Jon Heyman added today on The Score that “Texas is probably the most likely at this point” for Castellanos, as well, and that was from before Morosi’s report. All of this on the heels of prior reporting that had the Rangers as the “most prominent” team in the Castellanos pursuit.
In any case, even if Castellanos were still hoping a deal could come together with the Cubs, at some point, he’s going to have to secure his future. If that deal comes from the Rangers, then so be it. No one could possibly begrudge Castellanos for getting a good deal done with a solid team whenever he has a chance.
I’m bracing myself for a sad decision in the coming weeks.