It sounds as if Sonny Gray is stumping for his former Cincinnati Reds teammate. Okay, that's not known for sure, but there are certainly rumors floating around about the Minnesota Twins interest in Reds right-handed pitcher Tyler Mahle.
While Minnesota may not have the prospect capital to pull off a trade for Luis Castillo, the Twins have plenty of young talent that may be intriguing to general manager Nick Krall and the rest of the Reds front office.
The Minnesota Twins went all-in this season with the acquisition of what will likely amount to a one-year deal with All-Star shortstop Carols Correa. The Twins also traded their 2021 first-round draft pick to the Reds in exchange for the aforementioned Sonny Gray.
Minnesota's lead in the American League Central Division is shrinking and they need arms; both in the rotation and the bullpen. Would the Twins be willing to part with one of their better young players in order to land Mahle?
The Reds should target former Twins top prospect Alex Kirilloff.
Alex Kirilloff made his major league debut back during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The Minnesota Twins first-round pick in 2016 had some setbacks during the start of his professional career, including Tommy John surgery and wrist issues.
Now fully healthy, Kirilloff appears to be swinging a very hot bat. After yo-yo'ing in an out of the Twins lineup during the early-going, Kirilloff has been a regular since about mid-June. His .740 OPS since returning to a full-time role is encouraging.
There will undoubtedly be Twins fans who think that any deal involving Alex Kirilloff should result in an automatic dial tone on the other end. But All-Star Luis Arraez's presence at first base could nullify those concerns. While Kirilloff can also occupy a spot in the corner outfield, according to FanGraphs he has -1 defensive runs saved while playing in left or right field.
The Minnesota Twins have some talented pitchers in their farm system as well, but that's an area of strength for the Cincinnati Reds. Landing a player like Alex Kirilloff who can play the outfield and first base with a left-handed swing to boot would be a tremendous get for the Reds at the trade deadline.
Seeing as how Tyler Mahle is under team control through next season, Cincinnati does not have to move the 27-year-old before next Tuesday. The Reds are in the catbird's seat and there's no need to rush any decision if the team does not like the offers they're receiving.