Avila Says Tigers Have Talked Extension With Castellanos, But "The Interest Is Not Really There"
By: Will Burchfield
The rebuilding Tigers are open to committing long-term to Nicholas Castellanos, but the feeling might not be mutual.
General manager Al Avila told reporters at the Winter Meetings on Monday that the Tigers approached Castellanos about a contract extension toward the end of last season, one that would conceivably extend past Castellanos' arbitration years, but talks broke down and have yet to resume.
"Based on that there has been no conversation since the end of the year, the interest is not really there at this point," Avila said, via MLive.com.
Castellanos is arbitration eligible through the 2019 season after which he'll become an unrestricted free agent. He made $3 million last season, when he set career highs in both home runs (26) and RBI (101), and is due about $7.5 million in 2018.
Avila told reporters that the Tigers weren't simply trying to secure Castellanos for the next two seasons. Similar to their approach with J.D. Martinez in 2016, they were interested in signing the 25-year-old slugger into his free agency years.
That wouldn't really appeal to Castellanos, barring a substantial offer. If he continues to progress at the plate as he has through the first four years of his career he'll be in line for a nice payday in 2020. It would take a lot to convince him to forego that opportunity.
For now, it appears, Castellanos is content signing contracts on a year-to-year basis.
Despite spending the bulk of his career at third base, Castellanos is expected to open next season as the Tigers' everyday right fielder. 24-year-old Jeimer Candelario, acquired from the Cubs in the Justin Wilson trade, will take over at third.
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