Nicholas Castellanos reacts to being traded to Cubs

Written By Thomas Lott
Castellanos-Nicholas-USNews-072319-ftr-getty
(Getty Images)

Nicholas Castellanos thought he was staying with the Tigers.

First, the clock read 12:55 PT and the Detroit left fielder hadn't heard anything. Then it was 1:01 and as far as he knew, he hadn't been moved by the 1 p.m. PT deadline.

At that point, he started gearing up and getting ready to go for the Tigers' matchup with the Angels. Then, bench coach Joe Vavra came over with the news. Castellanos had been traded to the Cubs.

It was a bittersweet moment for Castellanos, but one that he couldn't deny being excited about.

"I couldn't be happier where I'm at right now," Castellanos told reporters at Wrigley Field on Thursday, via ESPN. "The position the team's in, the two months of baseball coming up, just doing absolutely anything that I can to help this squad win."

The Tigers were not in a position to win this season. Detroit defeated the Angels 9-1 on Wednesday, but hold the worst record in MLB at 32-72. Castellanos will get a chance to win with Chicago, which currently sits in a tie for first in the National League Central with the Cardinals.

He's certainly excited about that. But the 27-year-old was drafted by the Tigers with the 44th pick in 2010 and had spent every year of his professional career with the organization. 

"It's sad too because I've spent nine years in that Detroit organization," he said. "They drafted me out of high school, (there have been) countless people from rookie ball to this past year with (Ron Gardenhire), Joe and Steve (Liddle) and (Lloyd) McClendon that have helped me become who I am today, so when sitting down in my locker and taking my jersey off it was kind of like, you know, (a) new chapter."

Castellanos is a free agent after the season and the Cubs hope he will be able to give the team some good value in, potentially, only two months with the club.

He is hitting .347 this season against lefties which many pundits cited as the reason for the Cubs' interest in him. With potential matchups in the postseason against Dodgers lefties Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw or even Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin, Chicago needs all the help it can get against southpaws.

The left fielder should be able to give the Cubs just that, and he can't wait to get started, even if it is a big move in his career.

"It's mixed feelings," he said. "But the competitor in me is very happy to be wearing a Cub hat right now."

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