Piecing together a trade proposal between the Reds and Dodgers for Gavin Lux

Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux (9) looks on.
Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux (9) looks on. / Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

If you ask Dodgers fans, Gavin Lux certainly isn't cut out for the outfield. However, the 24-year-old was was drafted out of high school as a shortstop, and while some still question whether he can actually play the position at the major league level, he has the skillset to do just that. Would the Cincinnati Reds entertain a trade for the former first-round pick?

The first question you're sure to ask is why, and that's fair. You're right, on the surface, making a trade specifically for Lux would not be a wise move on the part of Nick Krall and the Cincinnati front office. However, with Los Angeles in the market for starting pitching, the trio of Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle are sure to garner LA's attention once the MLB lockout is over.

What would it take for the Dodgers to land Reds RHP Luis Castillo?

The most likely player Andrew Friedman and the Los Angeles brass is Castillo. LA lost Max Scherzer to the New York Mets, Clayton Kershaw is still a free agent, and it sounds like Dustin May could be ticketed for the bullpen upon his return from Tommy John surgery.

Our friends over at Dodgers Way suggest that Gavin Lux may be on the trade block and that Cincinnati could be a nice fit. From where I'm sitting, that all depends on what else Los Angeles is willing to give up in addition to Lux.

Lux does not become a free agent until after the 2026 season, so that certainly fits well into the Cincinnati Reds timeline. The front office has been looking to align their payroll to their resources this offseason, which is lawyer-speak for shedding salary.

Assuming the Luis Castillo would be the Los Angeles Dodgers target, Gavin Lux alone won't cut it. Yes, he was a top prospect in LA's farm system two seasons ago, but in 144 games, the left-handed swinging infielder slashed .233/.314/.368 while posting a wRC+ of just 86.

Sorry LA, but you're going to have to do better than just Lux. I've maintained all offseason that it'll take at least one Top 50 prospect in order to get the ball rolling on a potential deal for La Piedra. Seeing as how Lux was a Top 100 prospect just two years ago, I'm willing to be a little flexible, but not much.

It'll take more than just Gavin Lux to land Reds RHP Luis Castillo.

In addition to Lux, the Dodgers would have to include a Top 100 prospect. Per MLB Pipeline, LA has five such players in their farm system. I don't see Los Angeles giving up on Diego Cartaya. Ryan Pepiot was a hot name at last year's trade deadline, but LA refused to include the right-hander in a potential deal. Is he still off limits?

Michael Bush is exclusively a second baseman, and reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India would appear to have that spot on lockdown for the foreseeable future. That leaves us with former first-round pick Bobby Miller and outfield prospect Andy Pages.

Miller has the potential to be a frontline starter, but the power that resides in Pages bat is out of the this world. Not only that, but he can play center field. At High-a Great Lakes last season, Pages slashed .265/.394/.538 with 31 bombs and a wRC+ of 152.

Adding Gavin Lux and Andy Pages is a nice start, but Luis Castillo is at worst a No. 2 starter on a good team. The Dodgers would need to add more than Lux and Pages in order to pry Castillo away from the Queen City.

The Reds need to acquire another player, and possibly two in order to complete this trade. Clayton Beeter is an interesting prospect. Though he suffered through injuries early in his career, Beeter is hard-thrower who punched out over 35% of the batters he faced in the minors last season.

If I were Nick Krall, I'd try to snag one more prospect away from the Dodgers. Alex De Jesus is still just 19 years old, but shows a knack with his bat speed to possibly smack 20-plus homers per season at the major league level.

The Dodgers faithful are sure to look at this proposal and shake their heads no, but as we've discussed repeatedly this offseason, the Cincinnati Reds have no incentive to trade Luis Castillo. He's under team control for two more seasons and the Redlegs are trying to cut payroll butt still remain competitive in the NL Central.

Next. Could the Reds and Rangers work out a trade for Sonny Gray?. dark

If an opposing GM really wants Castillo, it's going to cost a lot. You're either going to shell out a lot of zeroes for top-notch pitching or it's going to cost you some elite-level prospects. In this case, LA would have to give up some of their young talent in order to land La Piedra.