Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos, shown Sept. 8, 2020, opted out of the final two years and $34 million on his deal. File Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Cincinnati Reds star outfielder Nick Castellanos exercised the opt-out clause in his contract and will enter free agency this off-season, the team announced.
Castellanos informed the Reds organization of his decision Thursday, opting out of the final two years and $34 million on his deal.
The 29-year-old Castellanos, who inked a four-year, $64 million contract with the Reds before the 2020 season, had two opt-out clauses in his pact. The All-Star outfielder, however, didn't exercise the first clause after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Cincinnati is expected to extend Castellanos the $18.4 million qualifying offer, which would yield the Reds a compensatory 2022 draft pick after the first round if Castellanos signs with another club.
Castellanos will become a free agent after one of the best seasons of his nine-year MLB career. He had a .309 batting average and 34 home runs -- both career bests -- and also led the Reds with 100 RBIs in the 2021 campaign.
A first-round pick in the 2010 draft, Castellanos will join a free-agent class that includes Freddie Freeman, Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Starling Marte, Marcus Semien and Javier Baez, among others.
In parts of nine seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Reds, Castellanos has a .278 batting average with 168 homers and 594 RBIs.