When Hall of Famer Derek Jeter in February stepped down as CEO of the Miami Marlins, he cited a "vision for the future of the franchise" that no longer seemed to prevail within the organization.
Reading between the lines, it likely meant that Jeter expected the team to invest more in payroll. Meanwhile, principal owner Bruce Sherman seemed disinclined to do so. At the time, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that Jeter believed the Marlins would have an additional $10 million to $15 million to spend on payroll after the lockout, and that turned out to be not the case. That disconnect turned out to be, in Sherman's words, "central to Jeter's decision to leave as CEO."
This is where Phillies slugger Nick Castellanos enters the picture. Castellanos, who was a free agent this past offseason, was widely thought to be of interest to the Marlins. As well, that interest was thought to be mutual for the native of South Florida.
As it turns out, Thursday occasioned the Marlins' 2022 home opener, and the opponent was Castellanos' Phillies. That, in turn, occasioned a revisiting of Castellanos' winter dealings with Miami:
Phillies OF Nick Castellanos just told me that he thought he would be a Marlin until Jeter left Marlins. Jeter wanted him— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 14, 2022
That tracks with the whispers at the time of Jeter's departure. Suffice it to say, the lackluster Miami offense could use a bat like Castellanos' over the next half-decade or so.
The right-handed power hitter, who turned 30 in March, is coming off an impressive 2021 season for the Reds. In 138 games, Castellanos batted .309/.362/.576 (136 OPS+) with 34 home runs and 38 doubles. Those efforts earned Castellanos his first career All-Star appearance. This season, he's off to a hot start with the Phillies, with whom he wound up signing a five-year, $100 million pact.
Whatever the specifics, the Marlins' loss has been the Phillies' gain for 2022 and beyond.