This is the fifth of a six-part series — the AL East, AL Central, AL West, and NL East pieces have been published — in which I’m highlighting each team’s most notable free agents and how it could fill the resulting void on the roster. A player’s rank on our recently released Top 50 Free Agents list, along with Kiley McDaniel’s contract estimates from that exercise, are listed where relevant. In some cases, the team already has a capable replacement ready to step in. In others, it’s clear the team will either attempt to re-sign their player or look to the trade or free agent markets for help. The remaining cases are somewhere in between, with in-house candidates who might be the answer, but aren’t such obvious everyday players to keep the team from shopping around for better options.
Here’s a look at the National League Central.
Chicago Cubs | Depth Chart | Payroll
Nicholas Castellanos, OF
FanGraphs Top 50 Free Agent Ranking: 11
Kiley McDaniel’s contract projection: 4 years, $56M
Castellanos had been an above-average hitter for a few seasons, although his fielding has left much to be desired. But for the two months following a trade from the Tigers to the…