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Report: Nick Castellanos opts out of contract to become free agent

The Reds outfielder hits the open market after a career year.

Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds hits a solo home run in the fifth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on October 2, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos has opted out of his contract, per Jon Heyman. Castellanos had a $16 million player option for 2022 that he has declined and will now become a free agent. Castellanos will turn 30 during spring training and is coming off a season in which he had a .309/.362/.576 slash line.

Castellanos had 95 runs scored, a career-high 34 home runs, 100 RBIs and three stolen bases this season. He’s one of the top handful of outfielders that will hit the market, pending any extensions getting done before free agency. Heyman reported the Reds have interest in retaining Castellanos, but it should be a significant market for the outfielder.

This wasn’t a particularly surprising move by Castellanos. He had the best season of his MLB career and now he’ll get paid well on the open market. Castellanos is easily the best outfielder in free agency and should get a hefty pay raise. Other big names in the OF market include Charlie Blackmon, who also could opt out of his player option, Michael Conforto, as well as 2021 champions Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall.