Reds fans, we'd better get used to hearing Luis Castillo's name pop up in trade rumors. Until the Cincinnati Reds finally pull the trigger and execute a deal for La Piedra, the right-hander will be subject of trade speculation.
There will be no shortage of suitors for Castillo. The New York Mets have been rumored for sometime, and their interest in landing the Reds starter has been rekindled. But amid the rumors of the Mets' interest emerged another contender.
The Minnesota Twins are also in the hunt for Luis Castillo. After watching the Cincinnati Reds trade Sonny Gray to the Twins Cities earlier this year, it wouldn't come as a shock to see Minnesota show interest in Castillo as well.
The Twins seem ready to go all-in this season. After adding Carlos Correa in the offseason, Minnesota is in a battle with the Cleveland Guardians for supremacy in the AL Central. What's the best trade package the Twins could offer the Reds in exchange for Luis Castillo?
Which Twins prospects should the Reds target in exchange for Luis Castillo?
The Minnesota Twins do not have a great farm system, but it's not bottom of the barrel either. Bleacher Report ranks the Twins farm system at No. 15 and MLB Pipeline ranked Minnesota's minor league crop at No. 19 prior to the start of the season.
I just don't see a lot of top-notch talent in the Twins' farm system. Shortstop Royce Lewis would be a tremendous addition in a potential trade for Luis Castillo. But with Lewis on the 60-day IL with a torn ACL (his second such injury), that's not a road the Reds should go down. Carlos Correa is also able to opt out of his contract after this season
Any deal with the Twins would likely include a lot of prospects, and one of them should be Matt Canterino. Injuries have plagued the right-hander throughout his time in the minors, but the 24-year-old has a four-pitch mix and is able to record a lot of strikeouts.
The Reds bullpen has been a disaster. Adding Jhoan Duran could help in that area. Duran is in the big leagues and has performed well. The Twins may not want to part with the 24-year-old reliever, but Cincinnati should definitely look to include Duran in any trade discussions with Minnesota.
Steve Hajjar was the Twins' second-round pick the 2021 MLB Draft. Cincinnati already acquired Minnesota's first-round pick during their offseason trade for Chase Petty. Hajjar is a tall, left-handed hurler who knows how to fill up the strike zone.
Finally, while I'm not overly high on him, the Reds should ask for Austin Martin as well. The Minnesota Twins acquired Martin in last year's trade that sent Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays. Martin is average over power and could profile as a centerfielder rather than a shortstop. Martin is ranked as the 57th-best prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline.
While Twins fans may think that's a hefty price to pay, Luis Castillo is under team control through the 2023 season. Minnesota is going for it this season, and it may be their only one with Carlos Correa. They need to make it count. If they're desperate to add Castillo to their stable, Reds GM Nick Krall should ask for a haul in return.