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March 19, 2022

Phillies go for broke, sign Nick Castellanos to $100 million deal

Talk about a Friday news dump.

At around midnight Friday, while most Phillies fans were sleeping their team elected to exceed the MLB's luxury tax for the first time win history. They also made it clear that they have a strategy for winning games in 2022 — to score lots and lots of runs.

The Phils now have some real firepower in a lineup that could look like the following (via baseball reference):

PlayerProj. power
DH Kyle Schwarber28 HR, 68 RBI 
1B Rhys Hoskins22 HR, 62 RBI
RF Bryce Harper28 HR, 80 RBI
LF Nick Castellanos27 HR, 77 RBI
C J.T. Realmuto19 HR, 70 RBI
SS Didi Gregorius17 HR, 66 RBI 
3B Alec Bohm10 HR, 51 RBI
2B Jean Segura13 HR, 56 RBI
CF Herrera/Vierling11 HR, 47 RBI/7HR, 26 RBI

Talk about a balanced attack. Those are some relatively conservative estimates, but the Phillies would be quite happy with potentially five 20 + home run hitters and RBIs manufactured up and down the lineup. 

Castellanos is 30, has a career .279 average and had a career best 34 homers with 100 RBI last season. He will now share the outfield and batting order with last year's NL MVP in Harper, who hit 35 and 84 respectively in 2021.

The Phillies could certainly use even more flexibility with their lineup, and having Castellanos available to play in left field opens up the DH spot for Kyle Schwarber, a lefty hitter who isn't particularly the best defensive outfielder. Though he's never played centerfield, Castellanos has also made 518 of his 1,015 big league starts at third base — though he hasn't played there since 2017 and would arguably be no better than Bohm there.

The possibilities would be quite vast with him added to the mix. Alec Bohm could play third or first. Rhys Hoskins could play first or left. Castellanos could play third or left, and all could handle DH duties. There are also endless batting order possibilities.

A former first round pick out of high school, Castellanos' signing certainly helps the Phillies keep pace with the Mets and Braves loading up for 2022.

With more than $15 million coming off the books with Didi Gregorius' free agency in 2023, the Phils are currently only slated to pay the luxury tax for one season. 

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