Let’s start off by noting that Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall said last night that the Reds were planning on having All-Star pitcher Luis Castillo in their rotation this season and that the current rumors that he had all but been traded to the New York Yankees were false. The rumors began with an off-hand comment on Friday about an old trade rumor by Jim Bowden and it went wild from there. This morning, though, Jon Heyman of MLB Network noted that Cincinnati – when the two teams did have talks about a potential trade – asked for shortstop Gleyber Torres and more in return for Castillo.

Luis Castillo has three years of team control remaining before he becomes a free agent, hitting the open market after the 2023 season. He’s coming off of the last two seasons where he’s thrown 260.2 innings with a 3.35 ERA and 315 strikeouts to go along with a 140 ERA+.

Gleyber Torres has spent three seasons in the Major Leagues. He was an All-Star as a rookie in 2018 when he hit .271/.340/.480. And he was an All-Star in 2019 when he hit .278/.337/.535 with 38 home runs. But the shortstop struggled in 2020 in his 42 games played as he hit just .243/.356/.368. His plate discipline improved quite a bit, but when he made contact he did far less damage than he had in the previous two seasons. Like Castillo, he comes with some long term control as he wouldn’t become a free agent until after the 2024 season.

Fangraphs recently published their trade value list and had Luis Castillo as the 32nd most valuable player in trade value in baseball. They, however, had Gleyber Torres as the 8th most valuable player via trade in baseball.

Both players have big time upside. For Castillo, you don’t have to squint very hard to see a potential Cy Young Award winning pitcher. He’s not there yet, but he’s not far off, either. Torres hit 38 home runs as a shortstop in 2019 as a 22-year-old. Need we say more about what kind of upside he possesses? Swapping those two players in a deal would be a proverbial slobberknocker. The people would be talking.

Of course, this seem all for naught. Nick Krall said there was nothing to the rumor on Sunday night. Jon Heyman repeated that this morning, noting that the Yankees said no to the request for Torres and that it’s very likely Luis Castillo stays in Cincinnati. The Reds asked high, as they should have, for one of their stud pitchers. The ask was too high for the Yankees. It seems that for now both teams are just fine with where they stand, keeping their All-Star player and looking toward other options.

40 Responses

  1. Andrewman

    Glad to see the Reds were only willing to trade Castillo if the return was exactly what they wanted and one that the Reds would be blown away with.

    Understandably the Reds wanted Torres and more for a player of Castillo’s pedigree. Just seeing all the angry and out of touch Yankee fans has made this entire rumor worth it.

  2. FreeHouse

    Yankees twitter yesterday “Castillo is what the Yankees need to get to the promise land once again” Yankees Twitter today after the Reds asking for Torres and more “Castillo has had 3 mediocre years, he’s not that good”……lmao

    • Mark Moore

      +5,000 for the information and the laugh. Sounds about right.

    • Doug Gray

      Never listen to the people on twitter.

      Guy who has 145,00 tweets.

      • Pedro

        Castillo is worth it. Frazier , Andujar and Gil and Scmidth would get it done. World Series or bust

      • Stock

        I don’t think Frazier is an upgrade over Winker. I would not want him
        I know Andujar would not start over Suarez or Votto. I would not want him. I am hoping Gil is Gleyber Torres. I like him. I feel Antone and Lorenzen are better options than Schmidt in the rotation and De Leon and Hoffman may be better options.

        I say Gleyber Torres, Deivi Garcia, Alexander Vargas and one of (Kevin Alcantara or Ezequiel Duran).

        I feel Torres is over rated. His defense, even at 2B, is substandard. His power disappeared last year. I like Garcia. Vargas would have signed with the Reds had they not been limited to $300,000 on international FA for several years.

      • doofus

        KC, Sea, Mia and TB (maybe Min) have better talent to offer the Reds than NYY. These teams have better prospects to offer. They have a combination of high-upside starting pitching talent that are or are close to major league ready and up-the-middle talent to offer.

  3. Mark Moore

    Aside from Votto, nobody is untouchable (and him only because of his contract). Torres PLUS sounds about right. So if NYY didn’t like the terms, they walk. All of which appears to have happened. And we move forward. And we still need someone at SS for about 2 years as I see it.

  4. Klugo

    How much team control does Torres have left?

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      The article says he is not a free agent until after 2024.

  5. LDS

    So who is going to be the SS this year? Gregorius is looking less and less likely. I don’t think he wants to play for the Reds again. Simmons would be ok. Still like the trade route.

    • 2020ball

      I think their plan B is to wait out the market and get one of the top FA options at a discount, but yeah they seem to be pushing the trade route more at this point.

  6. Doc

    Castillo’s last two years were better than I thought. 315 strikeouts in 26.2 innings, according to Doug’s article. That kind of production should warrant Gerritt Cole as a throw in, along with Torres and a couple of prospects.

    • MK

      If he had 315 Ks in 26 2/3 innings it’s was quite a feat. ? Torres isn’t enough

      • Doug Gray

        I dunno, that would certainly indicate a whole lot of wild-pitch 3rd strikes.

  7. scotly50

    I would trade Castillo straight up for Torres.

    Hardly any player can hit Castillo’s change-up, but his fastball is mediocre. He has velocity but can’t seem to get players out with it. Castillo struggles when he struggles with the change-up and has to rely on his fastball.

  8. MBS

    As much fun as it is thinking about the trades, I am glad the Reds didn’t send away Castillo, Gray, etc. I like the team as is, and would love the team with an upgraded SS. I really feel the Reds missed the boat on Kim and Linder, but the rest of the division is making the current roster seem very competitive. Maybe if we are in it around the trade deadline they’ll make a move.

  9. Magnum 44

    Torres is who I would start with plus more they better offer there best pitching prospect . In my opinion they are getting the cheapest most dynamic pitcher in baseball.

  10. AllTheHype

    Torres is a poor defender. Not just below average. He’s bad.

    At SS from 2018-20, he was last, 15 out of 15 (min 1000 innings) in the AL with UZR/150 over negative 10. Other defensive metrics also had him at or near the bottom.

    At 2B during the same time frame, he was last again, 19 out of 19 (min 1000 innings) in the AL with negative 14.5.

    He obviously carries offensive upside. But he also carries significant risk that he cannot continue to play a premium defensive position, and might need to be moved to a position where his offensive production is less impactful.

    It appears the Reds asked for more than Torres in return, which was appropriate given the Torres’ severe defensive weaknesses.

  11. JayTheRed

    I wish they would sign a major league ready SS and RP and maybe a SP. So tired of seeing all these minor league deals with invites. Do something legit.

  12. Roger Garrett

    As I said on an earlier post Castillo is a #2 on most teams and he should bring back at least 1 or 2 major leaguers.Reds can’t give him away and should get equal or greater value in any trade at any time.He along with Gray and a couple of others are our only trading chips but our roster is old and expensive as far as position players are concerned.The Reds went for it last year with the signing of 3 players that no other team could or would pay what we paid so now we must figure out how to make it until the big money comes off the books.A trade of Luis in a package deal with one of those 3 could help from the money side but again we must get equal value for him.Maybe one of the big dollar teams will indeed come calling with an offer that the Reds can’t refuse.We shall see.

    • LDS

      Take away Votto (and please do), the oldest Red is 32. Excepting a couple of pitchers, the rest of the team is under 30. Castellanos is only 28. The issue isn’t their ages. It’s bad management/strategy, bad minor league development, etc. One cannot be a successful manager, in any high performance endeavor, if one subscribes to a theory that employees, players, etc. are fungible. It fails miserably in the real world and it’s failing miserably in baseball.

      • Roger Garrett

        Moose is 32,Tucker is 30,Shogo is 32,Farmer is 30 and Eugenio is 29 and 4 of them could be starters along with Joey at 37.One could argue all have reached their peak as a hitter and unless Eugenio bounces back that makes 6 players that will play a lot that are on the decline at the plate and outside of the defense Tucker brings the rest are in decline on defense.

  13. Jeffery Stroupe

    I understand keeping this site going but no truth to most of off season articles….all you all talk about us contracts and stupid meaningless stats.,,. Let’s just wait on a good team…..not worried about Big Bob’s tax return

    • Doug Gray

      Which stats should we talk about?

    • 2020ball

      I’m not worried about Big Bob’s tax return either….did you have a point? Or are you just randomly rambling?

  14. Jeffery Stroupe

    I have no idea. Maybe Suarez calorie count. Ridiculous

    • Doug Gray

      During the season we’ll guess 2750. But that’s just a guess.

      • Ghostrunner_onthird

        I’m guessing closer to 4000.

      • wkuchad

        I don’t know Doug. If you average his number of homeruns over the past 4 years and factor in that many trips around the bases, I think your guess is pretty conservative. I’ll take the over.

  15. MK

    Don’t think he could maintain his weight and muscle at 2750.

    Now this is some great stat talk.

  16. Jon

    Are the Reds ever going to get their shortstop? This offseason is ridiculous with the number of quality free agents still available just several weeks out from spring training. Hopefully it works in the Reds’ favor and lowers their price.

    Also, has anyone heard or seen anything about single game tickets going on sale yet? Seeing as how the World Series was able to have socially distanced fans last October (as well as the Bengals), you would think the team would have a plan in place by now.

  17. Hotto4Votto

    I would have asked for more than Torres as well and glad the Reds stuck to their guns. They’re probably comparable overall, but finding front of the rotation pitching is harder than finding a poor fielding-good hitter. So the Yanks would have to include more.

  18. Matt WI

    I love that the Reds asked big, as they ought have. Funny that when the Yankees hype their guys, like you said, Tom, they expect to get what they want. But when a small market team asks for value, they’re just “uppity.”

    BUT, I have to strongly disagree with the comment that “When Castillo begins to regress is when you trade him.” If we know he’d regressing, then the other teams know he’s regressing, and the Reds get less value back. You can’t wait until someone stops performing and then expect to get good help back. Give value to get value.

  19. Greenfield Red

    I don’t have the link, but I read an article last night where the writer pretty much said it was Cincinnati’s job to give Castillo to the Yankees for nothing. Cincinnati did it’s job when they gave away Chapman, and should follow the same blueprint this time.

    My Aunt was a huge Yankee fan, and I know that’s how she felt… that the rest of baseball existed for the convenience of the mighty New York Yankees.