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Cincinnati Reds' Nick Castellanos exercises opt-out clause, to enter free agency

Cincinnati Reds' Nick Castellanos exercises opt-out clause, to enter free agency
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.

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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.

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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.

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