It feels like it was just yesterday that the Cincinnati Reds were reportedly taking phone calls from other teams who were interested in acquiring Luis Castillo. And why wouldn’t teams be interested? But it’s also now being reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that it’s unlikely that the Reds are going to trade Castillo.

The value for Luis Castillo is sky high and nothing made that more apparent than the early part of this offseason. Eduardo Rodríguez just signed for $77,000,000. Toronto Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios was just extended for seven years and $131,000,000. Starting pitchers are doing just fine in this economy, and Castillo’s a heck of a starting pitcher.

It would appear that Cincinnati knows just how valuable Luis Castillo is, and if teams aren’t willing to make the right kind of offer to acquire Castillo, then the Reds are willing to just let him go out and pitch on the mound at Great American Ball Park next season.

Of course there’s a lot of things that could change all of that. First, the Reds could simply be doing that old “start high and negotiate down” thing. While that feels unlikely, it’s possible. The other thing is that a team may be eying a player, be it in free agency or in another trade, and they come up short. All of a sudden they still need a top end pitcher and now they are more willing to engage in serious discussions.

Last week the rumors were that the Reds were listening to offers on, or engaging in talks for Castillo and Sonny Gray, while also trying to find takers for Eugenio Suárez and Mike Moustakas. It’s interesting to read that Castillo likely won’t be traded, but that there was no mention by Rosenthal on the other three players that the Reds were considering to be available/trying to move.

There are just over two weeks remaining before the current collective bargaining agreement is up. If it expires the owners will lockout the players and the hot stove will turn to ice immediately. Signings, trades, the Rule 5 draft – none of those things take place during a lockout unless it’s a trade of non-40-man roster minor leaguers being traded for each other, and that very rarely happens.

47 Responses

  1. Shawn

    Not sure this really means anything. May be trying to get better offers.

  2. Kyle

    Still have a feeling Sonny gets traded. May be good.or bad, depending on the return

  3. Redsvol

    Castillo is very valuable. 1st he’s young, 2nd he’s cheap for 2 more years, and 3rd he’s really good. Hes much better than berrios or Erod. So if you aren’t getting multiple top prospects then it is foolish to trade him.

    I’ve seen folks here suggest 1 top 50 prospect as a good trade – which Is laughable. You better double that and probably add 1 more top 200 for a durable, proven, cheap, pitcher with 2 years control. Lots of top 100 prospects flame out. You don’t give up a proven pitcher for 1 prospect – no matter how high they are ranked. They haven’t faced major league talent and you don’t know how they will fare. We know how Castillo fares against major leaguers. If you’re not blown away by the offer then it’s not adequate.

    • Randy in Chatt

      “here, here” says the other Tennessee Reds fan

      • TR

        Are all other Tennesseeans Braves fans?

    • Doc

      You mean a prospect like Senzel? Rhetorical question!

  4. Stock

    The Reds would be foolish not to reload. Also if the reload it should be for prospects at least 2 years away, at least for the most part.

    The Giants were in win now mode in 2021. However, they lost 4 SP (Gausman, DeSclafani, Cueto and Alex Wood) to free agency and Brandon Belt. Since all four SP pitched for the Reds prior to joining the Giants there must be something the Giants management likes about Reds pitching.

    These five players made $65 million last year. Projections for Gausman, Belt, Castillo, Mahle and Gray for next year project to be $65 million in 2022. In essence the Giant could resign Gausman and Belt and replace Disco, Cueto and Wood with Castillo, Mahle and Gray without increasing their budget for 2022 (excluding $10 million in additional payroll for players locked into 2022). Wood, Disco and Cueto combined for a WAR last year of 7.0 and the three Reds combined for a WAR of 9.9. This is a 40% upgrade at no additional cost. On paper the Giants would be better in 2022 than in 2021 with this trade and the resigning of Belt and Gausman. Three additional wins would mean 110 wins in 2022

    If the Giants want about the same budget in 2022 that they had in 2021 they can sign Jon Gray or Disco instead of Gausman. If they want a slightly lower budget in 2022, resign Alex Wood.

    What would be a fair return for Castillo, Mahle and Gray?

    1. Marco Luciano (Age 19) – Fangraphs # 9 (overall). Org Rank (1) 60 FV. SS
    2. Luis Matos (Age 19) – Fangraphs # 83. Org Rank (4) 50 FV. CF
    3. Patrick Bailey (Age 22) – Org Rank (6). 45+ FV. Catcher
    4. Kyle Harrison (Age 19) – Org Rank (8). 45+ FV. Starting Pitcher
    5. Luis Toribio (Age 20) – Org Rank (9) 45 FV. 3B
    6. Aeverson Arteaga (Age 18) – Org Rank (32) 40 FV. Shortstop

    Per Fangraphs, Luciano would become our #1 prospect and Matos would be #5. Lodolo would be #6.

    With an FV of 45+ Bailey and Harrison would be ranked with Austin Hendrick.

    With an FV of 45 Toribio would be ranked with Matt McLain, Rece Hinds and Tyler Calihan.

    With an FV of 40 Arteaga ranks with Bryce Bonnin, Andrew Abbott, Jose Torres, Alan Cerda, Graham Ashcraft and Jackson Miller.

    Trade # 2: Trade Sims and Winker to the Padres

    1. Robert Hassell (Age 19) – Fangraphs #65 Org Rank (3), FV 50. CF
    2. Ethan Elliott (Age 24) – Org Rank 5. FV 45. Starting Pitcher
    3. Justin Lange (Age 19) – Org Rank 6. FV 40+. Starting Pitcher
    4. Robert Gasser (Age 22) – Org Rank 18. FV 40. Starting Pitcher

    New prospects:
    1. Marco Luciano (Age 19) – Fangraphs # 9. Org Rank (1) 60 FV. SS
    2. Robert Hassell (Age 19) – Fangraphs 65 Org Rank (3), FV 50. CF
    3. Luis Matos (Age 19) – Fangraphs # 83 Org Rank (4) 50 FV. CF
    4. Patrick Bailey (Age 22) – Org Rank (6). 45+ FV. Catcher
    5. Kyle Harrison (Age 19) – Org Rank (8). 45+ FV. Starting Pitcher
    6. Ethan Elliott (Age 24) – Org Rank (5) FV 45. Starting Pitcher
    7. Luis Toribio (Age 20) – Org Rank (9) 45 FV. 3B
    8. Justin Lange (Age 19) – Org Rank (6) FV 40+. Starting Pitcher
    9. Robert Gasser (Age 22) – Org Rank (18) FV 40. Starting Pitcher
    10. Aeverson Arteaga (Age 18) – Org Rank (32) 40 FV. Shortstop

    The Reds now would have 7 of Fangraphs top 90 prospects (2 SP, 3 SS and 2 CF).
    Luciano (#9), Barrero (25), Greene (34), Hassell (65), De La Cruz (73), Matos (83) and Lodolo (89)

    This is a good mix between pitchers and position players. Five of the six hitters are due to reach the majors in 2024 or 2025. This trade solves the lack of outfield prospects. These five hitters along with Jay Allen, Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Austin Hendrick, Jose Torres, Rece Hinds, Ivan Johnson, Allen Cerda, Tyler Callihan Daniel Vellojin and Mike Siani give the Reds 16 potential hitters contributing in a 2 year span.

    This class will be followed by a group including Carlos Jorge, Leonardo Balcazar, Yerlin Confidan, Ariel Almonte, Malvin Valdez, Aeverson Arteaga, Braylin Minier, Jackson Miller, Ricardo Cabrera, Valencia and Esmith Pineda. This gives the Reds 27 hitters with a chance to contribute between 2024 and 2027. Not all will make it to the show. But with India, Stephenson and Barrero on the roster you don’t even need half.

    As for SP, I think Greene, Lodolo and Bonnin will be SP in the majors. I think Ashcraft has a chance to start. If they can improve their control a bit Boyle and Kyle Harrison will be stars.

    Many others with a shot to start in the majors but worst case scenario they are quality RP (Abbott, Roa, Farr, Elliott, Lange, Gasser, Marinan and Solomon)

    • Justin

      Great idea, OR, they can do nothing, win less and wind up with compensatory picks!

    • Rednat

      I don’t know . the question is will the brief 2 year run of mild success in 2020 and 2021be enough to keep fans interested for another 5 year rebuild. Speaking for myself, I don’t think I could tolerate another repeat of 2014-2019 at this time. And I am a long time reds fan that goes to about 20 games a year

    • PTBNL

      So gut the Reds, get rid of 3/5 of the starting staff with only one SP returning on the hope that everyone of those prospects being traded for produce at the ML level. And what happens if only 2 to 3 of those prospects, will it still be a good batch of trades. You are banking on unproven prospects vs. proven commodities…..count me out.

    • Hanawi

      No way that Giants package is enough to get all three of those guys. If I was the Reds front office I’d be slapping Mahle’s home/ road splits on a presentation and going to the California teams to make me the best offer they can. Mahle would be more likely to sign with them long-term anyway. He should be the one on the block.

    • JayTheRed

      Brandon Belt is reported to be Accepting the 18 million qualifying offer the giants gave. He is the only one to accept the deal it sounds like. Do others feel he is worth the 18 million plus for one season? I feel like he is a decent player but not as good as his cost seems to me. Maybe I’m wrong.

      • LWBlogger2

        Players cost a TON of money these days. Looking at his numbers, it would appear he’s worth that amount based on what players are getting paid these days. He’s come off 2 very good seasons. While I wouldn’t want to go long term with him at his age, I 1-year deal in the $18-million to $19-million range seems like something I’d pay if I needed a quality 1B.

      • 2020ball

        He’s 100% worth that as long as he’s healthy. His numbers back that up and he’s a plus defender. Plus its only a one year commitment.

  5. Melvin

    Well for the time being at least, it seems that Krall is not going to “give” him away for nothing. We’ll see.

    • Alan Horn

      Let’s hope he sticks to that plan.

      • Mike

        I think we should go after Seattle’s right fielder with similar numbers and half the salary.

  6. JB WV

    Thank god if it’s true. He has the best stuff not only for the Reds but for 90% of baseball. Giving Miley away was disgusting, but to be honest, I’d be amazed if he has another year even close to last year. If they keep Sonny, Castillo, Mahle, not a bad three to start with.

  7. Old-school

    This is absurd

    Lukewarm mediocre Reds want us to buy tickets for a team hardwired at best to win 80 games- designed to cut costs and fit a budget that makes money for ownership but doesnt win the NL central

    This is the worst case scenario for a team that has nt made the playoffs in a 162 game season since 2013.

    Thats the plan ? Cut payroll to a level to make ownership profit then pretend to win when no chance?

    I never thought the Reds could get to a point I quit

    Not there yet

    • Melvin

      They’re still going to trade him. They’re just actually using their brains for once, at least, waiting for the other teams to want him bad enough to give up “a lot”.

  8. Klugo

    I dont trust these MoFos to do anything right.

  9. Jim Miller

    They need to just go for it now ! Resign Castellanos, Do not trade Castillo or Gray but unload Moose if ya can , Suarez last couple months especially the last month was more what we’ve come to expect from him and I remember when his contract was a steal for the team , he’s gonna bounce back in 2022 !! Give Barrero the everyday SS job , let Votto be this new Votto cause hell it worked at age 38 which is impressive after all the adjustments he had made ,he still gets on base above league avg and w/36 HR around 100 rbi is more then fine ! Jonathan India should have 2nd base on Lock the NL ROY and we see ? Tyler Stephenson as a Catcher with a bat that’s clutch af too ! If they really wanna go all in they really just need to add a few proven bullpen arms and now replace Wade Miley and for his cost for 2022 that was stupid af imo but here we are I’m cool with 1B. Votto 2B. India SS. Barrero 3B.GENO BACK C. Stephenson RF. CASTELLANOS (gotta keep that energy) CF. Naquin/Senzel RF. Winker
    SP Castillo, Gray, Mahle, Greene and let Vlad , Lodolo, Sanmartin and whoever is in camp battle and win that 5th spot
    Bullpen is the question mark to me but Dauri Moreta , Luis Cessa , Lucas Sims Art Warren and Justin Wilson is a decent start , resign Givens or Lorenzen or BOTH but I doubt either the way we shed , surprised Amir Garrett wasn’t let go instead of Miley really but if he can bounce back atleast vs lefty and be decent vs righties that be a 6th and as far as the bench Senzel or Naquin, Kyle Farmer , Max Schrock , Aquino or Akiyama , Alejo Lopez and whoever the backup C is …. This team needed just a better bullpen and St.Louis not to win 17 straight at the end of the year to make the playoffs and maybe a little better injury LUCK !!!! THEY HAVE FREAKING ENOUGH TALENT WITH THAT TEAM ABOVE AND LETTING MILEY GO , TRADING TUCKER GIVES THEM ANOTHER 17.5 TO WORK WITH WILL IT GO IN ? HAMMOCK BOB’S POCKET OR TOWARDS BRINGING THE JUIC3 NICK CASTELLANOS BRINGS TO THIS TEAM !!!!

    • Alan Horn

      I tend to agree to go for it right now. I agree in resigning NC if the cost is reasonable. Else go for Garcia. Looking at last season, if they don’t neglect the BP prior and during the season and brought in some relief help earlier and didn’t have the injuries to Votto, Winker, NC, Senzel , Antone and maybe a few others, we might have won the wild card instead of faltering at the end. At some point you have to quit trying to rebuild every season and build/supplement on what you have. It might take a modest amount of money though. We need to build on the improvements of last season, not start over. Keeping Castillo is a good start.

      • JayTheRed

        If we can’t get Nick C I really like Garcia too. I don’t think he would be insanely expensive either.

        See if Nick C would take 120 million for 4 years if not move on. Or maybe give him an option for a 5th season. I don’t think the Reds will do this though at all. I honestly believe they won’t offer him a contract at this point.

  10. Redhaze

    Back the truck up if you want Castillo.
    Lux, Bellinger and a prospect would be a start.
    Resign Michael Givens.
    Sign Kenley Jansen to be the closer.
    Add Moustakas to a trade.
    Suarez will bounce back.

    • Bill J

      Seen on a Dodgers site someone proposed a Gavin Lux-Andre Jackson for Castillo trade.

      • JaxDan

        No thanks. Farmer had a better year than Lux. I would target Miller, Pages, Vargas with a throw in of Jose Ramos

  11. Michael B. Green

    With Manny Pina signing with ATL, I hope CIN turns their focus to Roberto Perez. Fantastic defense, post season experience, and great at framing and handling pitchers. He is also at the twilight of his career making him a great compliment to Stephenson and mentor to boot.

  12. DaveCT

    Colorado now definitely needs a SS. Perfect opportunity to move Farmer and commit to Barrero. If he should fall on his face, there are plenty of middle infielders coming on, and we have AAAA guys such as Alfredo Rodriguez who can patch it together.

    Fun fact: When Cortez landed on this continent, he burned his ship s to reinforce the commitment to the mission. C’mon Nick, no more kralling through the mud. At least do something exciting.

    • JaxDan

      If Lopez or Rodriguez can back up Barrero and tge Reds are comfortable with that I would try to trade Farmer. If Farmer is traded I would expect this to happen in spring training.

  13. docproc

    Seattle is interested.
    Ask for Julio Rodriguez.
    Wait them out.

    • JaxDan

      Other Mariners that I am interested in is Kirby, Hancock, Ford, Deloach and Williamson.

  14. TR

    It works for me, at this point, if Castillo is not going to be traded.

  15. AllTheHype

    Now is not the time to trade Castillo anyway, especially with how hot the FA SP market is. Let some more names come off the board, then see which teams get serious a little later. Hopefully the Reds will not be dumb enough to field this same roster next year with some small upgrades. Commit to winning now, or 2024.

    It scares me that in the past (Jocketty), they’ve hardly once traded an asset when that asset had value. Cueto, Chapman, Leake, Bruce, others all traded for peanuts in their walk year that didn’t help the rebuild or future at all. That was the Jocketty lukewarm method. Tell me things are different this time and we won’t try to trade our good assets during their walk year for peanuts.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Didn’t we at one point have a Chapman for Wheeler trade on the table but we turned it down due to injury worries with Wheeler? Then Chapman had a domestic incident and we got nothing in return and now Wheeler almost won the NL Cy Young.

      • Doug Gray

        It feels like the Reds were trying to trade for Wheeler about 10 different times over the years and never quite got it completed.

  16. SultanofSwaff

    If you’re not going to trade him, explore an extension. Cost certainty helps for budgeting purposes but also makes Castillo a desirable trade candidate in the future because you have control at a fixed amount.

    The Jose Berrios deal is informative, but I don’t think it would take a 7 year deal to lock Castillo up……seems like it would take at least 5 though.

    • AllTheHype

      Berrios got 1 service year + 6 free agent years. That’s the market standard with 6/120 for the FA years. Castillo has 2 service years and higher WAR so he’s probably looking at 7-8 years minimum with at least the 20 AAV (possibly more) for FA years that Berrios got. There’s no incentive for Castillo to sign anything less than that and certainly not 5, unless the AAV is bumped significantly.

  17. DataDumpster

    Just like produce, players have a shelf life and ownership let Iglesias, Bradley, Barnhart, Miley, etc. expire so that an opportunity for a trade became essentially a donation to the food bank. It doesn’t matter, we have other pitchers to deal but Castillo would bring the biggest return by far if the blood in the water is allowed to clear. So, I don’t see any good news here, the fix is already in anyway. Krall, Bell and the struggle to win 80 games, not so good if you are a fan but just fine for the guys who really matter.
    You see, if you arrive at the ballpark by liveried chauffer, have your choice of bootlicking business associates to bring to the game with you and be treated to an unlimited bounty of fine food and beverages brought to your cushiony seats or dinner table, you are not even likely to know the score in the 6th inning as the game itself is just the reminder of your success for purposes that have little to due with the team.

    • JayTheRed

      Iggy has his best statistical season this past season. He just rejected the qualifying offer so he is probably looking for a multiyear deal. I could see him getting maybe 3 or 4 years someplace.

  18. WillDCat

    Reds mgt may be greedy, and driven more by profits than winning – but they can’t be stupid enough to let Castillo go in a trade without getting a big return. Just getting another team to take Moose or Akiyama is not enough of a financial return, given Castillo’s value. Sonny G is also valuable as a solid starter with a manageable contract. If the DH thing happens, Moose can fill that role, while also spelling 1B, 3B, or 2B. People (i.e., writers) tried to extrapolate from letting Tuck & Miley go, that the Reds were tanking again. The team may not be able to afford Nick C, but that doesn’t mean they are tanking. Time will tell if they are, but it could be they are trying to remain competitive in what should still be a winnable division, while also not blowing up the payroll. An OF of Winker, Naquin & Senzel could compete, if they can stay healthy. Votto, India, Geno & Farmer/Barrero, w/ Stephenson behind the plate. A rotation of Castillo, Gray, Mahle, Vlad & could be solid. The bullpen will need work, but some of the young guys could be ready to contribute, and Wilson, Warren, Cessa & Sims gives them some solid pieces to build on.

  19. Magnum 44

    I for one am happy there not wanting to deal him. If this club would of properly invested in the bullpen last year there in the playoffs. I was expecting Nick C. to opt out, but I think if they kept Miley and made some bullpen moves they would be competing for the playoffs. I think the farm is in the best shape has been in years the Reds have a 6 to 8 year window to be relevant it just disheartening to see them waiving the white flag because of terrible FA signings from 2 years ago.

  20. Michael B. Green

    Veteran players are more likely to bounce back. Miley’s contract looked God-awful until he bounced back. Perhaps Moustakas and Suarez can prove the same. Castillo himself proved that you can survive a horrible start to a season.

    Having stated that, I am not in favor of blocking young talent that is ready to play. Barrero needs to play 140+ games at SS. Not sure he still has ROY status, but if so, he is a strong candidate to produce back-to-back awards for CIN.

    If one of Hunter Greene or Nick Lodolo emerge (assume Lodolo is a second-half candidate as they do not have to add him to the 40MR), then CIN’s quick “rebuild” is already done. Stephenson, India and Barrero up the middle (with good fortune for Senzel for once).

    • David

      I would not count on Lodolo and Greene making “significant” contributions in 2022, just because
      1) Greene still has to build up arm strength
      2) Lodolo did have some shoulder issues last summer, and may take a while to build that strength back up in 2022. He did not pitch a lot of innings in 2021.

      That said, one of them may be great in Spring training, set the league on it’s ear and make the starting rotation. Fans like us are usually wrong about a lot of things.