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Christmas wish list: Luis Castillo and what it could take to get him

‘Twas the night before Christmas and as I was making some last minute additions to my wish list to go along with DJ LeMahieu and a bullpen arm, I came across this tweet:

The Cincinnati ace has established himself in the league the past three years and has shown signs of greatness. Castillo will not come cheap by any means. He turned 28 earlier this month and still has three years of team control left before free agency. Castillo has been improving his game year after year.

In 2019, he posted a 76 ERA- and 81 FIP-, along with a .200 AVG. against, .049 below the league average. Any team that wants him would have to give up a lot. The Reds do not need to move Castillo, but if they get the right offer, they would consider it. Despite making the playoffs last year, Cincinnati still has a lot of needs. They had the lowest batting average in the league last season batting .212. They relied heavily on their starting pitching to get them through games, specifically Trevor Bauer  who seems unlikely to re-sign, as well as Luis Castillo, so starting pitching will be another need of theirs.

Clint Frazier

The trade package for Castillo will likely include many prospects. Clint would likely be one of the first players the Reds ask for. They need another solide hitter in the lineup and Clint would be perfect. He has shown what he can do with the bat and his fielding has improved drastically over the past year. As much as I love Clint, if the Yankees had to part with him to get a pitcher at the caliber of Castillo, they would have to make the deal.

Jasson Dominguez

The 17-year-old highly touted prospect has received comparisons to Mike Trout, even though he has not appeared in a game professionally for the Yankees organization. Yet, he is still being regarded as one of the best prospects the Yankees have had in recent years. The five tool center fielder is not projected to arrive in the majors until 2024. If the Yankees are serious about winning now, they may have to part with Dominguez at some point. At the same time, there has been so much hype surrounding Dominguez for the past year, I think most Yankee fans want to see what he really has before they move him for anyone.

Oswald Peraza

The Yankees number four prospect appears to be the perfect fit for the Reds. The 20-year-old shortstop plays excellent defense, has tremendous speed and has very high exit velocities. He is still developing, but he is projected to reach the big leagues in 2022. If Cincinnati wants him, he could be called up by the middle of the season next year. The Reds have a need at short stop and could have their SS of the future in Peraza.

Clarke Schmidt

The 24-year-old pitcher who made his debut last season could be another target in the potential trade. Schmidt appeared in only three games so far in his MLB career and is expected to be a reliable starter in the future, which Cincinnati will certainly need considering they won’t be able to afford their talented starters.

Final Thoughts

When trading for a pitcher like Castillo, you have to ask yourself, what would you give up to have a rotation that looks like this: Cole, Castillo, Severino, Garcia, Montgomery/Schmidt/ an additional outside acquisition. Yes, the price would be expensive, but assuming Severino comes back at full strength, that quickly becomes one of the best rotations in baseball. Being able to have those three guys go in a playoff series gives the Yankees a huge advanatage.

However, this is a huge package for a pitcher who has had two good seasons. Castillo is not like other starters who have qualified for Cy Youngs and were established for several seasons, like say Chris Sale was when they got traded. This trade can definitely work out for the Yankees. But, if it did not work out, the amount of backfire the team would face for trading a large chunk of the farm system would never end and righfully so.

Like every trade, it has to come at the right price and in this case, Cincinnati will likely be asking for too much. Even this package I listed would likely not be enough for him. This is an option the Yankees could re-visit at the trade deadline if he is still availbale. As much as I would like Castillo on the Yankees, it will likely be too expensive so I’m taking him off on my wishlist for this Christmas.

What are your thoughts? Respond to the post or tweet me @sashalueck and let me know if you would be willing to make a trade for Luis Castillo.