Should Reds have taken Yankees' Luis Castillo trade package instead of Mariners?

Hindsight is 20/20.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Edwin Arroyo dives to field a ground ball
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Edwin Arroyo dives to field a ground ball / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Cincinnati Reds fans were excited about the 2024 season. Having outperformed expectations in 2023, the Reds seemed poised to compete for the NL Central championship and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2020.

But the excitement has worn off over the past two weeks. Noelvi Marte received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs and is ineligible to participate in the MLB Postseason if Cincinnati were to make a run. The injury bug has jumped up and bitten the Reds. Matt McLain, TJ Friedl, and Brandon Williamson will all begin the season on the injured list.

It was also revealed Cincinnati's top prospect Edwin Arroyo will miss the entire 2024 season after undergoing shoulder surgery for a torn labrum. Having DFA'd Levi Stoudt earlier this offseason, lost Arroyo for all of 2024, and seen Marte tagged with a PED suspension, the question has to be asked - did the Reds make a mistake turning down the New York Yankees trade package for Luis Castillo?

Should Reds have taken Yankees' Luis Castillo trade package instead of Mariners?

In July of 2022, there were two names who were said to be atop every contenders wishlist. One player was Castillo, and the other was the Reds 2024 Opening Day starter Frankie Montas. Castillo was dealt to the Mariners and Montas landed in the Bronx.

The Reds got quite the haul for Castillo. Cincinnati received Marte, Arroyo, Stoudt, and minor league pitcher Andrew Moore. The Yankees sent Ken Waldichuk, JP Sears, Luis Medina, and Cooper Bowman to the Oakland A's in exchange for Montas and reliever Lou Trevino.

But what might've been the trade package had the Yankees and Reds pulled off a blockbuster at the 2022 trade deadline? Rumors were swirling that the Yankees were willing to give up outfield prospect Jasson Dominguez, but talks fell apart when the Reds wanted Anthony Volpe included in the deal. There were also whispers that Oswald Peraza's name came up, but the Yankees rebuffed his inclusion as well.

The Reds will begin the 2024 season Noelvi Marte & Edwin Arroyo

If both sides knew then what they know now, Nick Krall and Brian Cashman might have handled the situation much differently. The Yankees are now desperate for starting pitching after losing Gerrit Cole for the first two months of the season, and the Reds top assets from their trade with the Mariners are either out for the year, suspended, or on another team.

Marte should be back near the end of June. Though disappointed, Reds fans will be waiting on pins and needles for the organization's top prospect to return to the active roster later this summer. As for Arroyo, the injury couldn't have come at a worse time. The shortstop looked to be on track for a possible late-season call-up. Instead, Arroyo has a long road of rehab ahead.

Former Reds All-Stars Joey Votto and Eugenio Suárez suffered through major shoulder injuries and it greatly affected their performance the following year. The Reds fanbase is hopeful that Arroyo can bounce back and return to the diamond fully healthy next spring with his eye on an Opening Day roster spot.

If you had it to do all over again, would you have made the deal with the Mariners or worked harder to hammer out a deal with the Yankees?

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