Free-agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos reportedly thought highly of the Giants' clubhouse culture, but another team might have caught his eye as of late.
The 28-year-old met with the Texas Rangers and "came away with a favorable impression," MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported Monday, citing sources. The Rangers, according to Morosi, are one of the finalists to sign Castellanos.
New Giants general manager Scott Harris was the Chicago Cubs' assistant general manager when they acquired Castellanos at last year's trade deadline. In 664 plate appearances with the Cubs and Detroit Tigers, Castellanos slashed .289/.337/.525 and hit 27 home runs. The Giants could use that kind of power and have an opening in their outfield, but the Rangers have a need, too.
Texas traded right fielder Nomar Mazara to the Chicago White Sox last month, and, as Morosi noted, Castellanos has spent most of the last few years playing the position. Plus, following their trade for former Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, the Rangers are far closer to contention than the rebuilding Giants. ESPN's Jeff Passan pointed out Monday that the Giants have handed out just $9 million in major league contracts this offseason, which is fewer than all but eight teams.
Morosi listed the Giants and White Sox as the other teams still interested in signing Castellanos, but the Rangers' latest pitch seems to have resonated with the free agent.