Former GM makes bold prediction about the future of untradeable Phillies outfielder

Nick Castellanos is under contract with the Phillies through 2026.
Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos
Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos / Alysa Rubin/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Phillies may be the top team in MLB right now. But as good as they have been, they have had some struggles with their outfielders this season. One, in particular, has been a bit more concerning: veteran Nick Castellanos

This season has been a struggle for Castellanos, enduring one of the worst starts to a season in his career. To date, the 32-year-old has six home runs and 22 RBI while hitting just under the Mendoza line (.199) in 56 games. Over a full season, that puts him on pace for approximately 18 home runs and 66 RBI, mirroring his mediocre output from 2022 but now with a lower batting average.

Former GM makes bold prediction about the future of untradeable Phillies outfielder

Former MLB GM Jim Bowden of The Athletic recently discussed Castellanos' future (subscription required) when a reader inquired about the potential of trading away the veteran outfielder. Bowden stated that since Castellanos is making $20 million AAV, his contract makes him untradeable unless the Phillies eat 50 to 70 percent of his remaining salary.

With that not likely to happen, Bowden predicts Castellanos will finish his career in Philadelphia.

After signing a massive five-year, $100 million deal with the Phillies back during the 2021-22 offseason, Castellanos was looked upon to be one of the main offensive pieces alongside Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber. However, his first season with the club was underwhelming when he posted just 13 home runs and 62 RBI along with a .263 average in 136 games.

He made up for it in his 2023 All-Star year when he registered 29 home runs and a career-high 106 RBI while batting a solid .272 over 157 games.

Unfortunately, advanced metrics show that his average exit velocity, barrel rate, hard-hit rate and xBA have all fallen below the 40th percentile. As a result, it looks like 2023 is an outlier for Castellanos now, with the 2022 and 2024 seasons more likely what the Phillies actually have in him.

That could mean bad news for the Phillies if he continues to struggle with the bat. Not only would Castellanos become an anchor in the Phillies offense, they wouldn’t be able to get out of his albatross of a contract for the latter half of his deal.

On the bright side, at least he has been better on defense this season, with no errors committed to date, along with 0 DRS. Nevertheless, if he doesn’t pick up his game soon, the frustrations of the Phillies fan base might extend beyond this season if Bowden’s prediction holds true.

For the sake of the Phillies, let’s hope Castellanos finds a way to turn things around and lead the team to success as was expected of him.