If you are on social media at all you’ve probably seen the “rumor” that’s going around like a wildfire that the New York Yankees are trying to acquire All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds, as you obviously know by now, have been rumored to be moving anything that isn’t welded down at Great American Ballpark this offseason. Sonny Gray, Eugenio Suárez, Mike Moustakas, Nick Castellanos – all of them have at least been the subject of some sort of trade rumor, but none of them have been traded.
So, could the Reds trade Luis Castillo? Absolutely. It would be a tough sell to the fanbase, but no one should be untouchable. The price of acquisition should be incredibly high for a pitcher like Castillo, though. He’s a high-end pitcher with plenty of team control remaining. Those guys don’t get moved too often, but when they do, they command an enormous return.
Where things have gotten weird with the Luis Castillo to the Yankees rumors, though, is tracing back the source of the rumor. There was a note that Jim Bowden mentioned it. Bowden didn’t tweet about it. And he didn’t write about it at The Athletic. He does, however, also have a radio show on MLB Network radio. On Friday morning he said this on his show:
I’m told they (Yankees) may also get a starting pitcher here in the next 24-48 hours. I know they had a scout in here seeing Corey Kluber. They like what they saw there – it could be him. I know they’ve been in trade talks with the Reds involving Luis Castillo, although I understand they haven’t been recent talks – but they’ve been involved in talks with the Reds regarding him. The Yankees, once you have the announcement for LeMahieu the next thing you’re going to see is them get a starting pitcher.
All of this started because Jim Bowden mentioned that at some point in the distant past the Reds and the Yankees had a conversation about Luis Castillo that hasn’t been talked about recently. On top of the crazy idea that people then ran with the idea that this was some hot rumor, it was also prefaced with “the Yankees are going to add a starter in the next 24-48 hours and it may be Kluber”, which is exactly what happened. Yet, here we are, two days later still talking about this as if the Yankees didn’t land Kluber, and as if the Castillo part of the talk was almost a throw-away comment that also featured a “no recent talks” part.
A lot of angst has been wasted on this rumor. Do yourself a favor and probably don’t worry about this one.
Updated at 10:01pm
And five hours after this article was initially published, Cincinnati Reds GM Nick Krall weighed in on the rumor: “They (the rumors) are completely false. We intend to have him as a member of our rotation for 2021.”
#Reds GM Nick Krall on rumors of a Luis Castillo trade: "They are completely false. We intend to have him as a member of our rotation for 2021."
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) January 18, 2021