SAN DIEGO — Scott Boras, who represented Barry Bonds for a while, is not overly concerned about the pitchers’ paradise that is Oracle Park.
Perhaps that would allay any fears client Nicholas Castellanos would have.
Castellanos, the jewel of the corner-outfield market, called Comerica Park a “joke” last year, so frustrated by the deep dimensions in the park he’d called home for about 5 1/2 years. He was thriving on the road and bottoming out at home — which may ring familiar to Giants fans and the Giants core — but could not figure out the Detroit confines. Castellanos was then flipped to the Cubs at the trade deadline and tore up all fields, slashing .321/.356/.646 in 51 games with Chicago that helped catapult his free-agency value.
If Castellanos has similar fears about a park that, while the fences will creep in next season, is dreaded by Giants hitters, his agent shrugged them off.
“I kind of represented a hitter that did pretty well in that ballpark,” Boras, who split from Bonds in 2004, said at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday. “I think that ballpark’s a great ballpark, particularly if you’re a gap hitter. A guy named Jeff Kent had a pretty good year there performing just that kind of function.”
— Mark W. Sanchez (@MarkWSanchez) December 10, 2019
He’s right on both accounts, as both Bonds and Kent were decent players.
Castellanos, 28 in March, is the kind of slugger with pop the Giants crave — a righty who kills southpaws, who would enter an at-the-moment all-lefty outfield and youthful enough that he can be viewed as a long-term piece of the puzzle, rather than a 2020 fix.
The drawbacks will, of course, involve money, with Castellanos commanding four or possibly five years at around $15 million per year. The drawbacks also involve defense, where Castellanos has struggled mightily his entire career, only settling in right field after he played his way off third base. He accounted for negative-9 defensive runs saved last year, according to Fangraphs, though the thinking would be that more outfield reps and improved Giants positioning would help him become serviceable.