The Phillies introduced their newest big-ticket free agent signing Nick Castellanos, Wednesday afternoon in what is “a regular occurrence” according to President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have Nick Castellanos on board with us,” Dombrowski said.
Dombrowski has a history with Castellanos, whom he drafted in the first round (44th overall) of the 2010 June Ametuer Draft.
“We had Nick ranked as one of the top players in the Draft. That was the year Manny Machado came out,” Dombrowski said.
“The organization’s committed to winning, you see that with ownership. The Opportunity to be here to play with guys, I’m excited to be teammates with Bryce [Harper] again- we won a gold medal together in Venezuela, 2009. Just a lot of things for me to be excited about. My wife’s family is an hour away in Jersey, so really convenient,” Castellanos said in his opening statement.
Phillies right-fielder Bryce Harper played a pivotal role in Castellanos signing with the Phillies.
“Bryce also played a part in getting this deal done so, ya know, big thanks to him,” Castellanos said.
“I want to thank John Middleton for signing Nick and now I don’t get four phone calls a day for the last month from Bryce Harper,” Castellanos’s agent Scott Boras said.
Castellanos hasn’t had much playoff experience throughout his career. He hopes to change that in the City of Brotherly Love.
“I’ve played over a thousand big league games and have zero playoff wins. You know what I’m saying? So cool like I’ve made money, I’ve hit homers, I’ve played on T.V. but, I haven’t won no games that matter, so I would like to do that,” Castellanos said.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi and the rest of the staff have a plan on where Castellanos will play, but third base isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
“Our plans are to play him in left and right, and DH, Nick talked about he still likes to take ground balls- he will do that. That’s part of his routine. My eyes will be open when he’s there,” Girardi said.
This signing proves to fans that Managing Partner John Middleton is committed to doing whatever it takes to win as his Phillies are over the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history.
“Every morning John Middleton walks into my office and says to me ‘How can we get better? What else can we do? Is there anything else I can do for you? Don’t let anything stand in your way.’ Our ownership has been fantastic since I’ve been here, and I’m sure they will continue to do that we’re very fortunate to have a group like that,” Dombrowski said.
The signing of Nick Castellanos moved rather fast for Dombrowski and his staff.
“The next morning when John came in I had thought about it and looked and thought well we got DH, we got left field and I asked ‘Do you have a minute?’ He said ‘Sure!’ It so happened Ned [Rice] and Sam [Fuld] were in the office and we started talking about it, we talked and he warmed up. We talked to the Buck family and they warmed up it and gave the ok to get it done. They said they don’t really care about the payroll issues, the CBT issues, we want to win. We want to do what we can to make it happen. I just know he’s that type of player, he’s a difference-maker,” Dombrowski said.
Nick Castellanos knows a thing or two about the fan base he just signed up to play in front of for the next half-decade.
“If you’re playing well they’re going to let you know. If you suck they let you know. I can live with that,” Castellanos said.
Scott Boras gave the perfect analysis about his newest client to play in red pinstripes.
“Nick is actually someone who has got the athletic enthusiasm to everyday improve. But he also has the academic process- it might come from his father, who’s a doctor- it’s kind of scientific, everything is very thorough, it’s precise. It’s something where I’ll look, I’ll look, I’ll look, I’ll see it, I’ll go with it, and then I’ll improve it. And in the end, if I do well, I know I have to do better tomorrow. It’s never ever a vow that says I’m good where I’m at,” Boras said.
Castellanos knew things were getting serious with the Phillies when a familiar name kept showing up on his phone.
“When I started getting texts from Bryce, then Scott told me that there’s some genuine interest so, I was just in the state of mind of open to anything is possible. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Opening Day was at that time 20 days away I still didn’t know where I was going to go. So I was just trying to be present and being at home as much as possible and waiting for whatever was going to come my way,” Castellanos said.
Castellanos broke the news of his signing with a now-infamous Instagram post.
“I took that photo back in 2019,” Nick Castellanos said.
Castellanos was asked how much better he can be. His response? “Well, I guess we’ll find out, right?”
Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire