In what feels like a kick to the stomach, on the day that Luis Castillo is set to make his 2022 season debut after missing the first month of the season with a sore shoulder, Peter Gammons is reporting that the Cincinnati Reds have changed their tune and are now willing to talk trades for both Castillo and Tyler Mahle.
Perhaps this is just another rumor in the long, long line of “Luis Castillo may be involved in Reds trade talks” that have been floated around for parts of the last two years that never came to fruition. Castillo is under contract for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. He is making $7,350,000 this season, his second year of arbitration. Castillo, who has a career ERA of 3.72 in 123 career starts, has shown long stretches in various seasons where he could be confused with a legitimate #1 starter. He hasn’t quite put it all together in a full season, but that’s also simply nitpicking. Castillo would be a welcome addition to any and all rotations around Major League Baseball.
Of course, his being a welcome addition to any and all rotations around Major League Baseball is exactly why the Reds shouldn’t trade him and instead should be looking to keep him around. But as we’ve seen in the last eight months, the Cincinnati ownership group has been trying to cut payroll instead of trying to get better at baseball, so who knows exactly what they will do with the best pitcher the organization has had over the last decade.
Tyler Mahle has struggled to begin this season. Even after a good start over the weekend his ERA sits at 6.46 through seven starts. But over the previous two seasons he had a 3.72 ERA in 43 games, throwing 227.2 innings with 270 strikeouts. Like Castillo he’s under team control for 2022 and 2023 before becoming a free agent. He’s making $5,200,00 this season and will be arbitration eligible for the last time next year (unless he agrees to a contract beforehand).
We’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out. Perhaps the asking price won’t be met (again) and Cincinnati will hold onto their two best pitchers.