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.”

37 Responses

  1. Tom

    I would much rather see the Reds trade from the awful 8 than the pitching staff. I mean, seriously, who is untouchable in that group? Much harder to replace a top-flight pitcher than a bat with an average of .210. Seems that maybe Castillo had a breakthrough last year. He is on the upward curve.

    • Klugo

      We seem to have pitching depth in the organization. As long as we get a huge haul, I think I can see logic.

    • MK

      Who would want a member of awful eight?

  2. Klugo

    Bowden can mention it without mentioning it in print, on air, or necessarily on record.

  3. IndyRedsFan

    And this is why I never get too worked up over any rumor. People have a tendency of making mountains out of mole hills.

  4. west larry

    The yankees just signed Kubler, and I doubt that they will give up three or four of their top prospects for, Castillo, and that’s what it would take. Hopefully, Castillo stays in Cincinnati for several more years. Bowden isn’t much better as a trade rumor guy than he was as a general manager.

  5. Mark Moore

    Meh … rumors of shadows of rumors … plus the NYY Kluber signing. I guess everybody has to write about something.

  6. LDS

    So who are the Yankees putting up? Gleyber Torres? Luke Voit? Aaron Judge? Or is it yet another Reds Clint Frazier rumor? Pass. Keep Castillo and sign a shortstop. Go for Story or Correa. Same deal as with Gray, they agree to an extension. Otherwise, forget about it.

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    I read a tweet yesterday where it was said that the Reds could trade Castillo with the Yankees but it had to include Moustakas or Castellanos and they demanded at least Clint Frazier in return. Likewise, it said that the Reds were in a hurry to get out of the Moustakas or Castellanos contracts.

  8. RedBaron

    Unless it starts with Jasson or Gleybor I wouldn’t do it no matter what they add. Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar are both 26ish, are poor defenders and have had 1 good season each. They are overhyped and overvalued IMO.

  9. MBS

    If you read the NYY blogs, the majority are saying yes lets give them the 3B we don’t like, and that fringy OF we don’t want, plus a couple of decent prospects. How they think this improved the Reds is beyond me.

  10. Kim Henry

    As I have said in earlier posts, add a shortstop and I feel we can contend. If not in the chase come trade deadline, then talk trade for some of our top guys. I haven’t always felt this way heading into a new year, but I really think we have a solid team this year.

  11. Greenfield Red

    The Yankees will wait until Castillo gets a speeding ticket. Then his value will plummet so the Reds will get the rights to Bucky Dent in return. I’ve seen this before.

  12. rednat

    Yankees are swindlers. The reds should have a by law that prohibits them from doing business with the yanks. Just stay away

    • Michael Smith

      @rednat

      Swindlers? As in the reds were swindled in the Sonny Gray trade?

      • jazzmanbbfan

        They weren’t swindled in the Chapman trade, they just panicked and dealt him when his value was at its absolute lowest. That’s on the Reds, not the Yankees.

      • B.Harmon

        Right a fellow that had a 5.00 ERA and gave up more hits than innings pitched with a bad attitude? Not to mention Gray was a free agent that year as well. That was the second time they had Gray. In return the Reds gave up a high draft pick and a 2nd base prospect which the Yanks immediately flipped to Seattle.

        The Yankees were dumping payroll so they could pick up Happ, Paxton and Voit that year. We have seen Cincinnati do the same thing often enough.

        Chapman? We wont talk about the Kelly – McNeil trade then lol

      • Pedro

        And the Reds ain’t swindlers ? The want Torres, Andujar and Frazier and top prospects. If the dont take the package the Yanks offered, they will always be losers

  13. Michael B. Green

    This is the challenge for small market teams. If you keenly produce special talent, you will likely end up losing that talent to free agency or even higher arbitration years. Castillo, IMO, is that special kind of talent. His A2 and A3 comps are going to match up with the best. That will mean he’ll become expensive – and he should. He is special. Teams either need to pony up and invest in their players or risk always grooming players for New York (2), Los Angeles (2) and Boston. The teams that pony up are committing to winning now and not constantly rebuilding. CIN needs to make up its mind. The 2020 team was a few runs away from making a big splash this past post-season.

    • Jimbo44CN

      I think you mean ANY runs. Sorry but those playoff games were painful, except for the pitching.

  14. B.Harmon

    I’ve had about all the Small Market mouthwash I can take. This is the big leagues boys and girls and if Mr. C cant afford to play with the big guns then he needs to sell the team. One way of not being a “Small Market” team is by winning. Did the fan base change from the Big Red Machine days… no, and what losses they may have came from losing. Bottom line here in Cincinnati is the Reds are the baseball version of the Bungles. I love the Reds but since Marge, they pretty much have stunk up baseball.

    • rednat

      I tend to agree. Especially now with the coronavirus. It is the great equalizer in my opinion. It could be years before there are fans at yankee stadium and dodger stadium. And even when they come back it will be at low capacity for a looong long time. I think smaller markets can really take advantage now. Look how many people were at the chiefs game today! I understand the bigger television markets and all but I think teams like the reds will have a bigger advantage for the next few years

  15. RojoBenjy

    False alarm generated by Leather Pants himself. Nothing to see here (thankfully).

  16. Steve Schoenbaechler

    As usual, it all depends upon what we get back. If you told me that we would trade Castillo to the Yankees for their, oh, #3 prospect, I would answer, “No way.” If you old me that the Yankees would give us LeMahieu, Cole, and their #1 and #3 prospects, for example, I would say, “Absolutely.”

    Now, of course, neither of those scenarios would occur. It was to only show a point. What would the Yankees put up?

  17. doofus

    There are teams with much better prospects than the Yankees.

    The NY sports wags are always spewing something about who the Yankees are seeking. Their fanbase then goes “Yeah!, we can give them a measly package of prospects and tell the other team this is a great deal, because after all, these are Yankee prospects!”

    If it comes to dealing the likes of Castillo or Gray: Tampa, SD, Sea, KC would interest me, because they have a blend of upper end starting pitchers and good up-the- middle position players.

    • MBS

      Right, I like Tampa as a trading partner Gore, Baz, and Adames for Castillo. Gives us an MLB ready arm Gore LHP, wild card Baz RHP, and a solid SS Adames. The Rays have Franco ready to come up, to take Adames spot, and Castillo gives them a top of the rotation pitcher to make another WS run with.

      • MBS

        McKay, not Gore, also another LHP I’d like to have on the Reds.

      • Doug Gray

        McKay is coming off of shoulder surgery. I wouldn’t touch a pitcher coming off of shoulder surgery unless they were an absolute throw in lottery ticket.

      • MBS

        Ouch, me either. Didn’t know that. Good thing I don’t make the decisions lol

  18. B. Harmon

    The Yanks never give up anything. I agree, there are far better teams to deal with. Did you catch the MLB article talking about which players to make a long term deal with now? For the Reds, Castillo was their pick and I fully agree with that. He could very well be our #1 starter for years to come so I wouldn’t be trading him for anyone given the conditions and control the Reds have on him right now. Gray would be up for trade yesterday in my book but then who’s the #2 starter? Seems to me we have a bunch of #5’s after Gray. Pitching wins short series and with a number #1 and 4 #5’s you aint getting there.

  19. SultanofSwaff

    If anything, the Reds need to be talking extension with Luis, not trading him.

  20. LDS

    Heyman, whose track record seems mixed at best, contends the Reds asked for Torres plus. Yankees said no. And Krall, whose credibility is not yet established, has said Castillo is staying. And rumors are that Gregorius is going back to Philly. So still no shortstop. This year the fog around transactions seems even worse than usual.

  21. Roger Garrett

    Castillo is a #2 at worst on most teams.He demands high end talent of at least two players ready to play big league baseball unless you can unload Moose.Big Nick is gone regardless after this year but Moose and Joey’s contract will handicap the Reds until at least 2023 or 2024.

  22. Mike McSorley

    Never bought into the Castillo to Yanks rumor(s) especially considering the source. You gotta admit, it he threw another log into the Hot Stove which was cooling down.
    The crying need is for a legit shortstop … decision comes down to is this guy a bridge or is he a long-term solution.
    I shake my head at those people who say Mr. C is cheap and in the next breath think nothing of giving a $40 million three-year contract to an over-30 SS (Didi) or $13 million for ONE year of Semien. If you feel he’s operating on the cheap then Andrelton Simmons makes the best sense for a paltry $4-5 million (or they could have held onto Jose Iglesias at that same price).
    While I have you here, MLB says fans may be back in the stands for 2021. I heard projections of as many as 12,000 allowed in GABP … remembering some of the non-crowd” shots on MLB-TV from 2019, that figure almost qualifies as capacity!

  23. Stock

    I think the Yankees would be very interested in Castillo even after the signing of Kluber. Their SP is suspect after Cole. Montgomery and Garcia both had ERA’s of 5. Kluber wasonly throwing 88 in his tryout. Not sure why he is so promising. Their # 5 is Severino who has 12 IP the last two years. Behind them is German, who has a career 4.5 ERA and didn’t pitch last year because of a steroid suspension, and Schmidt and his 7 ERA last year

    Any trade starts with Torres and Garcia. Add in Alexander Vargas whom the Reds wanted as a 16 year old but did not have the cash. Finally add in a player such as Kevin Alcantara or Ezequiel Duran and you have a fair package for Castillo.

  24. jmb

    Trade Lorenzen, not Castillo. Sign Turner to play SS. Or, try Suarez at SS, move Moustakas to 3B, and play Senzel at 2B.