Did Luis Castillo just make his final start for the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night versus the Miami Marlins? The smart money says yes, but you never know how the Major League Baseball trade deadline is going to play out.
With less than a week remaining until the trade deadline, the Reds would appear to be sitting on a gold mine with Castillo. The right-hander is arguably the most sought-after player available aside from Washington Nationals' superstar Juan Soto.
Several teams have been mentioned as possible suitors for Castillo's services, but some recent developments may have shaken up the likelihood that several teams (who were rumored to be after the Reds right-hander) are still in the mix.
The first-round of Luis Castillo trade power rankings saw the New York Yankees take the top spot. That's not all that surprising as the Bronx Bombers have been said to be after Castillo for the past few years. Let's see where the Top 5 teams pursuing Castillo stand at the moment.
5. The Padres are a team to watch in the Luis Castillo sweepstakes.
When it comes to San Diego Padres executive AJ Preller, everyone should expect the unexpected. While the Padres would seem to be set in terms of starting pitching, three of their starters are slated to become free agents after this season, and rookie sensation MacKenzie Gore just suffered a troubling injury.
The Padres certainly have the prospect capital to swing a deal for Luis Castillo, but the Friars are also rumored to be after Juan Soto. It's unlikely that the Padres will be willing to give up what it's going to take to secure the services of both Soto and Castillo. If Soto is not traded, or traded elsewhere, the Padres could quickly vault to the front of the line for Castillo.
4. The Mariners have the prospect capital to get a deal done for Reds RHP Luis Castillo.
With the Houston Astros admitting to possibly parting ways with one of their starters in order to bolster their lineup, it's unlikely the reigning American League Champions will be looking to trade for Luis Castillo. But the second-place team in the AL West may be looking to upgrade their starting rotation for a postseason push.
The Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners have already pulled off a blockbuster deal earlier this year. Might Jerry Dipoto, who's rarely every quiet at the trade deadline, pull off another trade that will help Seattle return to the postseason for the first time since 2001? The M's certainly have the prospects to pull off a trade for Castillo.
3. The Dodgers have been strangely quiet, but shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to trading for Luis Castillo.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a comfortable lead in the National League West and may be favorites to take home the pennant in the NL this season. But teams like the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves will certainly have something to say about that.
President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedmann, much like AJ Preller and Jerry Dipoto, is not going to sit on his hands at the trade deadline. Adding a pitcher like Luis Castillo at the trade deadline would solidify LA's rotation heading into the postseason, especially with questions surrounding Walker Buehler's return this season.
2. The Blue Jays need to make a splash at the trade deadline.
The New York Yankees struck first by trading for Kansas City Royals outfielder Andrew Benintendi. The Toronto Blue Jays were rumored to be looking to make a deal for Benintendi as well. Might the Jays pull one over on the Yankees and land the highly-coveted Cincinnati Reds starter?
The Blue Jays need Luis Castillo more than the New York Yankees. It was obvious after seeing Charlie Montoya lose his job that Toronto expects big things from this year's team. The Blue Jays have the horses to get it done in the batters' box, but they need some help on the mound after Hyun Jin Ryu and seeing Jose Berrios struggle. Don't count out the Blue Jays.
1. The Yankees still look like the favorites to trade for Reds RHP Luis Castillo.
While the New York Yankees just acquired Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals, don't think that Brian Cashman is done trying to improve the roster. The Yankees have a comfortable lead in the American League East Division, but many question whether or not the Bronx Bombers have what it takes to defeat the Houston Astros in a seven-game series.
The Yankees have more than enough top prospects, even after landing Benintendi, to make a legitimate offer to the Cincinnati Reds for Luis Castillo. Every other team looking to make a trade for La Piedra will have to beat New York's last, best, and final.