The history of the Cincinnati Reds isn’t exactly littered with pitchers who could be argued as the best in the league. But we don’t have to go back very far to be able to make that argument thanks to the brilliance that was Johnny Cueto. Before Cueto, though, you have to go back two decades to Jose Rijo. The Reds, though, are in that position again where you could make the argument that Luis Castillo is among the best pitchers in the league.
Luis Castillo currently has the 5th best ERA in baseball with his 2.41 mark. Not that he hasn’t been good, or even really good at other parts of his career – but this year is a bit different. But it does stretch back to last year. Over the last calendar year Castillo’s ERA is 2.42 and the second best in baseball behind only Hyun-Jin Ryu. You could argue for guys like Ryu, Max Scherzer, or Jacob de Grom being better. But Castillo is right there.
And that’s why things were so shocking that Jon Paul Morosi had a story on Wednesday that the Cincinnati Reds didn’t have Luis Castillo off of the table in trade talks. I’ve long said that no one should be untouchable. And I stand by that. But it’s not to say I’m not surprised that the Reds are listening to offers.
What is it going to take to land Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds? If the Reds are listening to me? Mike Trout. Maybe Wander Franco and Blake Snell. But you see what I’m getting at here, right? You’ve got to blow the Reds out of the water with a deal that no sane person would ever offer.
Luis Castillo can’t become a free agent until after the 2023 season. He will still be making the league minimum next year. Then his salary will rise as he enters arbitration in 2021-2023 based on his performance. His value is through the roof right now because he’s one of the best players at his position and he is making as little money as allowable in the sport.
The odds of the Reds actually moving Castillo in a trade are about the same as the odds that I win the lottery this weekend – and I do not play the lottery. But if someone offers me a ticket, I’ll hold onto it and see if the numbers are winners. And if the right team gets crazy enough to offer up a franchise changing deal, the Reds are going to rightfully listen. It’s just not likely to happen.