The Cincinnati Reds began this iteration of rebuilding when they basically gave away Raisel Iglesias a year and a half ago. Since then, they’ve been shedding everything they possibly can that includes any sort of contract, with the jettisoning of Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, Sonny Gray, Tucker Barnhart, Wade Miley, and Co. having served as the next phase of the Castellini family’s efforts to gut the club and go cheap.
That effort to rebuild paired with the parallel effort to get cheap means that even those established players still around are seemingly unlikely to get any sort of guaranteed money via contract extensions. With the Reds over 20 games under .500 (already), that means the vultures are going to begin to circle, actively looking to pluck what’s left from the Reds while it’s still around.
Chief among those likely to be vultured is righty Luis Castillo, who is only under team control by the Reds through the 2023 season before he’ll be able to reach free agency. And since the Reds don’t appear willing to commit money to him (or anyone else right now), common sense dictates they’ll shop him for pieces that are younger, cheaper, and come with the kind of team control that means they could well be around the next time the Reds approach being ‘good’ again.
It’s no surprise that the best teams in the game will be after him, seeing as his combination of elite fastball velocity and Bugs Bunny change-up keep hitters everywhere off-piste. The first such assertion that’s the case has come from Jon Heyman, MLB Network insider, who relayed in the NY Post that the New York Mets were among the clubs checking in on Castillo’s availability and the Reds asking price.
Mets have checked in on Castillo (and presumably other starters) with so many rotation injuries. But a hitter would be nice too (2-3 options listed in here stand out in a sellers market https://t.co/AJH374tC25— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 23, 2022
Considering they’ve got Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer both sidelined, adding some pitching would seem to be a decent idea, especially some with control for 2023, too. And with Steve Cohen and his billions of billions of dollars, tacking on what remains of Castillo’s ~$7.35 million salary for this year won’t be prohibitive at all.
It’s the first of what I’m sure will be many references to teams checking in on Luis, who may only have about 7-8 starts left, at most, between now and the August 2nd trade deadline. Since he’s eschewed any concern that his early season shoulder issues are long gone, the bidding could end up being quite fierce.