The Philadelphia Phillies have a loaded lineup heading into the 2022 season. The club had a disappointing 2021 campaign that saw the team finish second in the National League East and only two games over .500. Philadelphia Phillies owner John Middleton honored the promise he made to 2021 National League Most Valuable Player Bryce Harper and hit free agency ferociously. Harper, who signed a 13-year, $330 million contract, was promised when he signed that the team would not be afraid to overspend for the right pieces. That final piece of the 2022 offseason was former Cincinatti Reds outfielder and third baseman, Nick Castellanos.
"All early indications point towards Nick Castellanos being a perfect fit for the Philadelphia Phillies. @notinconsistent has more on what was said during Castellanos' inaugural press conference" - @ Inside the Phillies
Castellanos brings a ton of power from the right side of the plate to the Philadelphia Phillies.
He comes to a team that has already added outfielder and designated hitter Kyle Schwarber to an already offensively-solid Phillies squad. While there were many teams vying for Castellanos's services, none had a teammate that pushed quite as hard as the aforementioned MVP, Bryce Harper. Harper shares baseball superagent Scott Boras with Castellanos. According to Boras, during the introductory press conference, Harper was relentless in his pursuit of the free agent.
"Nick Castellanos said Bryce Harper started texting him and their agent Scott Boras said Bryce was calling him 4 times a day for a month pushing for this to happen. Nick says Bryce had a big influence on him joining the Phillies." - @ John Clark
The 2021 season was something of a wakeup call for Harper. The two-time Most Valuable Player slugged his way to accolades. However, it was nowhere near enough to get his team into the playoffs. Harper, who joined the Philadelphia Phillies from the Washington Nationals in early 2019, watched his former ball club win a World Series that very same season. He has realized that the it isn't the greatness of a single player that wins championships, but the greatness of the team as a whole, which is why he has made it his mission to recruit ball players of a similar caliber, offensive jugguernauts who have a desire to win.
In his press conference, Castellanos mentioned that he had played in over 1,000 games but had no playoff wins to show for it. While millions of dollars and All-Star appearances are fun, he is a competitor and wants to use his window of productivity to win meaningful, important ball games. After spending the majority of his career with teams like the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds, Castellanos knows the lament of not having enough pieces on a roster to win meaningful games in October. He hopes that with this contract, the Philadelphia Phillies finally have enough pieces to win their first title since 2009.