Luis Castillo trade rumors: Return from Yankees would be substantial

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 26: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 26: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Luis Castillo trade rumors are heating up once more despite the Cincinnati Reds signing their ace to an inexpensive contract on Friday. It appears as though the New York Yankees are incredibly interested in prying Castillo away from Cincinnati. It would take a Herculean effort in order to do so, but the Bronx Bombers might be able to pull it off.

Our friends over at Yanks Gone Yard provide an update on the Luis Castillo trade rumors from MLB insider Jon Heyman. Heyman, appearing on WFAN, says that Castillo is available, but that he is the last player the Reds front office want to move. That said, trading Castillo would bring their biggest return.

The Luis Castillo trade rumors have been centered around the Yankees.

The New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds have done deals before. Two years ago, Cincinnati sent infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick to New York in exchange for pitcher Sonny Gray. In 2015, the Reds dealt flamethrower Aroldis Chapman to the Bronx in exchange for four prospects. Could the two franchises be on the verge of another blockbuster?

Castillo and the Reds just agreed to a one-year/$4.2M contract on Friday. One might think this would squelch any speculation about a potential deal involving the right-hander, but on the contrary, with Castillo’s 2021 salary now known, teams like the Yankees might be better positioned to take a run at La Piedra.

If the Yankees and Reds were able to swing a deal, Cincinnati would have to get a massive haul in return. No doubt Nick Krall would inquire about players like outfielder Clint Frazier, infielder/ outfielder Miguel Andujar, shortstop Gleyber Torres, and perhaps top prospects like Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia.

The Reds should stand pat, for now.

Personally, I think the Cincinnati Reds have the horses to win the National League Central Division with the pieces currently in place heading into spring training. In addition to the Luis Castillo trade rumors, we’ve heard Sonny Gray’s name, Eugenio Suárez, and Mike Moustakas as possible players Cincinnati would be interested in moving as well.

However, with the NL Central having a veritable fire sale this offseason, no one team has emerged as an obvious candidate to take home the division crown. In fact, with the Chicago Cubs likely to deal Kris Bryant, the St. Louis Cardinals having released Kolten Wong while leaving Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright out in the cold, you could argue that Cincinnati has the most complete team in the division.

Newcomers Nick Castellanos and Mike Moustakas severely underperformed in 2020, Eugenio Suárez and Shogo Akiyama struggled early, and were it not for the elite pitching, the Reds would’ve likely missed out on the postseason.

While Trevor Bauer is unlikely to return, if the existing roster plays up to its potential, there’s no reason to believe the Cincinnati Reds cannot win the NL Central. With that idea heading into 2021, I foresee Cincinnati moving forward with their current roster as spring training approaches.

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That said, with the New York Yankees, the idea of dealing La Piedra to the Bronx is unlikely to go away until Brian Cashman finds a solution for the starting rotation. For now, the Luis Castillo trade rumors seem to be little more than noise coming from the Big Apple, but don’t be shocked if they surface again.