Evaluating some recent trade proposals for Reds starter Luis Castillo

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) delivers in the first inning.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) delivers in the first inning. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

While Major League Baseball and the Player's Association are locked in a very tense negotiating battle, very few transactions have taken place outside of a sprinkling of minor-league signings. However, once the lockout is over, Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Castillo will be the hottest name available in a potential trade.

Recently, Kevin Henry of FanSided's Call to the Pen tackled the proposed trade between the Reds and Tampa Bay Rays centered around La Piedra. Seth Carlson of FanSided cited a proposed trade courtesy of Mets analyst Danny Abriano of SNY who foresees a potential deal between Cincinnati and New York. Let's take a deeper dive into both deals, shall we?

Would either of these proposed deals for Reds RHP Luis Castillo work?

Let's take a look at the trade proposal between the Reds and Rays first. A fan proposed a deal to The Athletics' Jim Bowden (subscription required) that included second baseman/outfielder Vidal Bruján, right-hander Seth Johnson, and “another C+ minor-league pitcher" in exchange for Luis Castillo.

The former Reds' GM didn't see that proposed deal working for Cincinnati, so Bowden suggested that Nick Krall would need to counter by requiring outfielder Josh Lowe and right-hander Taj Bradley in order to secure Castillo's services.

I have maintained, since whispers of a potential Luis Castillo trade emerged, that unless another club is willing to part with a Top 50 prospect, you needn't waste Krall's time. The Reds know what they have in Luis Castillo, and after the team's recent failed trades involving Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati must get a solid return for La Piedra.

Lowe is a Top 100 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, but the fan's proposed trade involving Bruján (No. 21) is much more likely to get the ball rolling. Neither one of the proposals would be enough for me to move Castillo, but perhaps another combination of those prospects mentioned would see Krall pull the trigger.

Now let's entertain the Mets fans who so badly want to see Luis Castillo join their already loaded starting rotation. It's crazy to think that Castillo would be the No. 3 starter behind Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.

So, in the proposed trade, the Mets would receive Luis Castillo and in return the Redlegs would get shortstop prospect Ronny Mauricio (No. 53 per MLB Pipeline), as well as pitching prospect in RHP J.T Ginn.

To be honest, I like this proposed trade a lot more than the one involving the Tampa Bay Rays. However, I still don't think it's enough, and it makes no sense for the Reds to trade for a major league-ready shortstop when Jose Barrero is set to debut at the position in 2022.

Now, if the Mets want to replace Mauricio with outfield prospect Brett Baty, then I think we have the makings of a deal. SNY's Abriano maintains, however, that both Baty and New York's top prospect Francisco Alvarez are virtually off-limits.

There is the possibility that Mauricio can play third base and maybe even center field, but if you're Cincinnati, you must get as close to a sure thing as you can for Castillo's services. Don't take a flier on a player you "hope" can transition to the outfield.

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Get used to this Reds fans, as speculation about Luis Castillo's future destination will only grow once the MLB lockout concludes. In the end, I expect Castillo to be playing elsewhere in 2022, but neither one of these proposed deals excites me