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Yankees, Dodgers among many MLB clubs with interest in Reds Luis Castillo


Tampa Bay Rays v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Exactly 70 MLB pitchers have thrown at least 350 innings since the start of the 2019 season, and Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo is one of them. His quality in that time has been simply remarkable, too, with the 12.2 fWAR he’s accrued tying him for 9th most in the game with Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes, who you’ll recall just won the National League Cy Young Award last fall.

Of the very, very few names ahead of him on that list, you’ll find Zack Wheeler - he of a well-earned nine-figure contract from Philadelphia - as well as resident world-whippers Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Shane Bieber. Hat tip to FanGraphs for that entire list, which only served to confirm one basic tenet:

Every single team in baseball should want Luis Castillo.

The Cincinnati Reds should want Luis Castillo. Sadly, though, they’ve done very little to make it so he’ll be around beyond his current team control, which ends after the 2023 season. With such dwindling team control and almost nothing still built around him, it’s little surprise that the teams actually trying to win baseball games in calendar year 2022 are circling the Reds with eyes on Cincinnati’s biggest prize now that we are inching ever closer to the heart of trade season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are the two powerhouses, two super-teams running at the moment, and even they are keeping tabs on Cincinnati’s interest in moving their superstar righty.’s Jon Morosi detailed the interest from Los Angeles just yesterday.

Despite the wealth of pitching talent and pristine record in LA, there’s a lot of still-unproven places in their current rotation alongside Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw, especially with Walker Buehler still stuck on the 60-day IL with early-season arm trouble. They’ve obviously got the kind of talent in their system to get a deal done and are more than willing to take on what remains of Castillo’s ~$7.5 million salary despite luxury tax issues, since winning another World Series with their current core is an absolute priority.

New York’s interest parallels that of LA in many ways, though the Yankees are trying to end an odd-for-them drought of World Series titles under GM Brian Cashman. Jon Heyman of everywhere including the New York Post detailed the Yankee interest in Castillo, though he opined that the Reds preference for Anthony Volpe - the top prospect in the Yankee system - might be a stumbling block despite Castillo being worth every bit that kind of return.

With some three weeks until the actual deadline, much of this will continue to hover. Teams on the periphery of playoff chases might rip off a dozen wins and suddenly salivate at the chance to let Castillo put them over the top, while teams firmly linked to Castillo today could lose a dozen in a row and fall completely out of the chase. Such is life during the dog days of summer, at least for franchises that didn’t step on their shoelace and start the year 3-23, ending all hope of anything good actually happening in the win column for yet another year. You’ll hear the Toronto Blue Jays linked, and perhaps the San Diego Padres, too. For now, though, just know that while the trade spotlight is going to be firmly on Nick Krall and the Cincinnati front office, they don’t have to smash the YES button on a deal just because it’s the best one right now. They’ll have that chance again this winter, should things fail to progress, but rest assured he’ll have to be very busy saying no for it to make it that far.