The Reds have reportedly asked the Yankees ahead of shortstop Gleyber Torres and prospects if New York wants to take over starting pitcher Luis Castillo in a trade.
That would realistically never happen, at least not off-season, and Cincinnati probably realizes that much. The club has chosen to radiate strength not only to Brian Cashman, but also to other general managers in the league who could keep an eye on Castillo. Cincinnati isn’t interested in considering reasonable offers so far.
Castillo staying until the 2021 season would keep the Reds’ playoff ambitions. At the age of 28, he is in the prime of his career and under team control for three more years.
The right-handed can be underestimated nationally due to the excellence of teammates Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer. He posted a 3.21 ERA in 2020, hitting more than 11 batters per nine innings. His peripheral figures suggest that a one-year ERA below 3.00 is possible, if not likely in the near future; his FIP for 2020 was 2.65 and his expected ERA based on types of contact against him was 3.04. In other words, he pitched better than his already great base stats would suggest.
With Bauer leaving Cincinnati with free will, the Reds have little reason to give Castillo away.
Reds asked the Yankees for SS Gleyber Torres plus in Castillo talks, as just said @MLBNetwork. That makes sense as both are young stars and Cincinnati needs an SS. Yankees said no. No surprise either, Castillo is most likely staying in Cincy.
Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 18, 2021
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Clearly, Castillo would make a difference to the Yankees who could change the course of a playoff series. He would give New York an ace after Gerrit Cole without demanding bait money.
However, Torres is a 24-year-old shortstop with two All-Star appearances in three years. As rare as a beginner pitcher is, such a talented player in a premium infield position is even more difficult to achieve. He is virtually untouchable in trade negotiations.
The Reds (31-29 last year) could always change their tone and meet Castillo on the deadline this year or later, but for now they are happy where they are. Prospects far from MLB do nothing to aid in the pursuit of a post-season bid and are therefore less desirable centerpieces.
As much as it might annoy Yankees fans, that’s probably the right mindset.
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