3 sleeper teams who could surprisingly emerge in trade talks for Reds starter Luis Castillo

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) pitches.
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) pitches. / Albert Cesare / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are all likely to pursue Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo as the trade deadline approaches. But which under-the-radar clubs who could make a run at Castillo?

Along with Oakland Athletics' hurler Frankie Montas and his teammate Tyler Mahle, Castillo figures to be one of the hottest starting pitchers on the trade market.

Fans have already heard that the Yankees, New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, and San Diego Padres have shown interest in trading for Castillo. But might a sleeper emerge and snag Castillo from under their noses? Let's look at three teams who might surprise everyone.

1. The Guardians could be a sleeper team to trade for Reds RHP Luis Castillo.

Don't look now, but Cincinnati's neighbors to the northeast are doing pretty well for themselves. The Cleveland Guardians are getting it done this season. Cleveland trails AL Central Division-leader Minnesota by just a couple of games and are right in the thick of the Wild Card chase.

Oddly enough, it's necessarily the starting rotation that's leading the way for the Guardians in 2022. Cleveland's starting rotation is about in the middle of the pack in terms of ERA and strikeouts, and have also been prone to the home run ball this season.

Adding Luis Castillo would be a very shrewd move on the part of the Guardians' front office, and eerily similar to the type of trade that brought Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati back in 2019. With Castillo under team control for one more season, Cleveland could continue to contend in 2022 and maybe emerge as the favorites in the American League Central in 2023.

By trading for Castillo, Cleveland would arguably have the best rotation in the division. Zac Plesac, Shane Bieber, Cal Qunatril, and Triston McKenzie are all under club control for next season. Add to that the MVP bat of Jose Ramirez along with the Guardians' young core of position players, and all of the sudden Cleveland has the chance to make some noise.