For what feels like the 10th year in a row, but it’s really only the 3rd, Luis Castillo is the target of many teams around Major League Baseball during a trade period. Two consecutive winters have come and gone with Castillo’s name being brought up every other day in trade rumors but Cincinnati holding onto their ace. Now the Reds are back in the rumor mill, discussing a potential deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. The talks have just been preliminary between the two clubs according to the report.

Luis Castillo was just named to his second All-Star team. He’s made 12 starts this season for Cincinnati and has posted a 2.92 ERA in his 71.0 innings while giving up 55 hits, walking 23, and striking out 74 of the 293 hitters he’s faced. His ground ball rate is down this season from where it’s been in the past, but it’s still at 50%, which is well above-average.

Castillo is pitching for a team with no chance to make the playoffs this year. But he’s also not a free agent after this season, either. Cincinnati could retain the right-handed starter through the 2023 season if they wanted to. His salary for 2023 isn’t yet determined as he’ll be arbitration eligible for the last time. He’s currently making $7,350,000 for the 2022 season.

There was no report on the kind of return that the Reds would be looking for. But given that Castillo is likely the best starting pitcher on the market, and isn’t a free agent until after next year, the return should be big. Cincinnati doesn’t have to trade him and they should be sure to understand their leverage with that if teams balk at the idea of paying a premium for a premiere pitcher. This isn’t likely to be the final time we hear about trade rumors involving Castillo before the trade deadline (August 2nd), and it’s not likely it’s going to be the only time we hear about the Reds involved in talks with other teams about some of their players. Let’s just hope the organization gets it right, no matter which decision they make.

113 Responses

  1. Chris

    Need Pages and Busch I would think!!

    • RedBB

      Pages and Pepiot. Would also take Jasson and a top 20 from the Yankees.

    • earmbrister

      Pages and Busch haven’t been exactly lighting it up in AA and AAA.

      I have to believe there are better teams to match up with out there.

      • Mike

        I’d like to get with the Jays. Moreno’s available with Kirk’s emergence, and we should push for Horwitz and Tiedemann, as well. The Red Sox would be an okay fall back if they’ll include one of their top two hitters + Bello.

        Dodger prospects feel overrated

  2. J

    I’m looking forward to seeing which 34-year-old mediocre (probably injured) lefty reliever and/or minor league utility player with a career .299 OBP they’ll be getting in this deal!

    • Votto4life

      That won’t happen. The return for LC will be substantial.

      • scotly50

        “That won’t happen.”
        Krall and Castellini are still running things. That is not awe-inspiring.

      • J

        Have you forgotten who this team is? It’s the organIzation that thought Minor was worth almost $10 million (plus AG), but gave away Miley rather than paying him $10 million. They have know idea what any player’s value is. Just being able to replace Castillo with cheaper guys will be considered a “win” to them.

      • Votto4life

        Scoty50 and J,

        I haven’t forgotten Nick Krall’s track record. I wish anyone but him was the Red’s GM right now. Still, the trades he has made up to this point has largely been about dumping salary. I think trading Luis Castillo will be about brining in the best prospects.

        It’s not like we can wait. We either trade Luis Castillo now or lose the opportunity to trade him at peak value.

        The worst thing the Reds could now, is to do nothing.

        Let’s say for the sake of argument, the Redsdon’t trade Luis Castillo. Then what? He remains here for another year and a half and then he walks.

        Do you think he is going to lead this team to the World Series in the next 16 months?

        For the Reds to compete next year Nick Krall would have to pull off a miracle. Yet, by your evaluation of Nick Krall (one that I agree with), Krall isn’t competent enough to make trades to improve the team. So then there is little chance the Reds will compete next year and Castillo will become a free agent and the Reds will receive nothing.

        The Reds could wait and trade LC next summer I suppose, but the return would be similar to what they got for Johnny Cueto.

        I understand your concern, I just hope Nick Krall can make a semi-competent trade this time around.

        I don’t like the fact Nick Krall is driving this bus, but there is no turning around at this point.

    • Redsvol

      It is a very tired argument to say Mike Minor is way over priced compared to last year’s wild pitching market. He is an 8 million$ contract (10$M – Amir Garrett’s contract). Run down the list of what teams payed very average to below average starting pitchers during the off-season;
      – Micheal Pineda – $5.5M
      – Alex Cobb – 2 yrs, $18M + option
      – Alex Wood – 2 yrs, $25M
      – Michael Lorenzen – 1 yr, $6.75M
      – Aaron Loup – 2 yr, $17M
      – Kyle Freeland – 5 yrs, $64M
      I can go on and on. Crazy $ was available for below league average performance. Even middle relievers got contracts upwards of $5million this off-season. Plus add in the GABP factor – no free agent is or was coming to Cincinnati on a 1 year deal unless it is well above market. Agents of pitchers know, their clients numbers will be worse after a year in GABP.

      Mike Minor’s #’s prior to 2022 were just fine. He started out injured (surprise, like many pitchers who didn’t train properly during lockout) and has had a terrible start to the year. The plan to have a veteran pitcher around a bunch of rookies to soak up innings with league average results was fine – the execution has been terrible. Time to get over Mike Minor’s current 2022 contract & performance. Time to look to the future of having Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft and perhaps others for the next 6 years.

      • Votto4life

        Mike Minor is a fly ball pitcher who in the two previous seasons prior to coming to Cincinnati had an era above 5. It wasn’t just fine.

      • Earmbrister

        V4Life, Mike Minor’s FIP the last couple of years was mid to low 4’s. ERA isn’t the only/best indicator of performance. As for being a fly ball pitcher, he clearly was being used as a flip candidate.

      • AMDG

        Just because some teams overpay for mediocre starting pitching doesn’t mean the Reds need to.

        Especially when one considers they could have spent that same $ on good pitching. (Miley, Gray)

        Over the past 3 seasons Minor has an ERA+ 84 and FIP 4.74 so I’m not sure I’d agree he was “just fine”.

      • Earmbrister

        AMDG, you say that the Reds “could have spent that same $ on good pitching (Miley, Gray).”

        Do you know that Miley has pitched a grand total of 19 innings this year? I’d consider that a bullet dodged.

      • Votto4life

        Earmbrister, does that mean you would then be in favor of extending Mike Minor?

      • J

        Earmbrister — I’d happily take Miley’s 19 innings of 2.84 ERA over Minor’s 38 innings of a 6.63 ERA. Just “eating innings” is a silly reason to pay a pitcher more than league minimum. I could pitch all the innings Minor has pitched and the worst case scenario is that they’d have lost the one game Minor won.

    • earmbrister

      J – Thanks for your insight.

    • wallyum

      That’s just mean. Spot on, but mean.

  3. SteveO

    The list of prospects that should be in the return package are Vargas, Busch, Pepiot, Pages, Miller, Knack, Beeter, Stone and Cartaya. The first 3 are in AAA, the next 5 in AA and Cartaya in high A, most likely being promoted in the second half. For me, at least 3 of the group of Vargas, Pepiot, Miller, Stone and Cartaya. Only Pepiot requires an immediate spot on the 40 man roster with Busch, Vargas, Pages and Cartaya this offseason. Miller, Knack, Beeter and Stone ‘23 offseason. This group of players will fill needs we have with the Reds, Bats and Lookouts. I think LAD, NYY, TOR and CLE have the deepest prospect talent, with MIN, TEX, NYM, SDP, SFG and STL closely behind. It’ll be interesting to see where LC lands, if traded, but we would need some of the best prospects from these contenders to continue moving on with the rebuild.

    • Votto4life

      I would insist on Cartaya, Pages and lower pick.

      • SteveO

        I’m sure they’ll be in the discussion, but I think we lean a little heavier on pitching, as that’s where we need the most improvement. I guess it will depend who else we can get from the other players we are trying to trade and the order in which they are traded. For example, if we can fill needs in trades of Mahle and Drury before LC, we might look at trying to get back the best combination possible to fill other needs.

      • JB

        Cartaya will be off limits. Dodgers too high on him. Reds better get an OF and 1B.

      • Greenfield Red

        V4L agree 100%.

        If Yankees, peraza, the catcher, and 2 19 or 20 year old arms from their top 30.

      • doofus

        From the Yanks AAA club: Peraza, SS; Estevan Florial, CF, hits left; Waldichuk, LHP.

        From their AA club: Wells, C, hits left; Warren, RHP, supreme worm-killer; Medina, RHP, flamethrower (most likely a reliever in majors).

        From their Low A club: Dominguez, CF, switchhitter.

        Castillo, Drury, Warren, Kunhel, Hendrick, OF to the Yanks.

    • CommentsSectionCommenter

      There is ZERO chance the Dodgers are trading Vargas, Cartaya or Miller at the deadline, period. So let that fever dream pass.

      Pepiot and Stone are likely nearly untouchable, depending.

      Pages seems like the centerpiece prospect, with Knack and Beeter likely also available.

      The Dodgers are on a 106-win pace without Walker Buehler (likely returning to rotation) and Dustin May (likely returning to the rotation, perhaps before Buehler) and Blake Treinen (an elite high-leverage reliever, likely back before either of them).

      Still, the Dodgers’ glaring need is another high-leverage reliever–Craig Kimbrel is once more a garbage fire–and while Friedman has made it clear he hates trading for relievers at the deadline, this will still be a problem he’ll have to fix.

      Not absolutely NEEDING Castillo is a lovely cushion, should the ask be crazy-high….

    • Redsvol

      Agreed – Toronto, Dodgers and Guardians. Dodgers are loaded with prospects and will be again after another signing period so they would be my target. Toronto has good prospects but I don’t see them going for it this year – too many injuries and they don’t feel ready for a long run in playoffs. I would stay away from Yankees trade unless no-one offers up 3 very good prospects except the yankees. Yankees prospects are always over-valued by national media and rarely pan out.

      Padres and Giants also have very good prospects. We ain’t trading him to the Cardinals because they won’t pay the premium in prospects it would take to trade him within the division.

      Someone will want Castillo. It just depends on how badly. If he’s healthy next year, we should be able to get 2 highly rated prospects – even with only 2 months + playoffs control remaining. Team’s have paid heavily for top pitching talent at trade deadlines with no future control remaining. So if you can get 2 prospects next year, the asking price should be 3 very highly rated prospects. Of course, this all assumes Castillo stays healthy until next trade deadline and that is the gamble. I would much rather see him traded now.

      • Mike

        Toronto will go for it because they’ve spent a lot of money trying to win already, and they have a star-studded lineup. They’re ripe for the overpay

      • JayTheRed

        Don’t count Toronto out their GM has already stated that they plan on spending at the deadline and with the starter injuries they have had Castillo would be a great addition. Plus, I get to continue to follow one of my favorite SP in baseball still. Blue Jays are my AL team. There is a pretty good amount of good position players in their system.

  4. Tar Heel Red

    Tell the Dodgers if they want a major league starting pitcher they can have Mahle and Hendrick for Pages, Knack and Grove. If they balk, no deal. Trade Mahle for best offer available, pocket money saved on his arbitration salary in ’23 and apply toward extending Castillo.
    Reds can easily afford to offer him 3 years for $54M, added to the end of his current deal. Votto and Moustakas coming off book after next season…clearing the Reds a minimum of $54M (Moustakas $18M in ’23, $4M buyout in ’24…Votto $25M and $7M).
    Castillo is a No 1 MLB starting pitcher. It’s time the Reds realize this and act accordingly.

    • Pete N Hall

      The Reds can “offer” Castillo 3 years at $54 million but if, as you state, he’s a number 1 starter he’s going to want more years and a lot more than $18 million per year! And the Reds aren’t going to get 2 of LA’s top 10 prospects plus more for Mahle…for Castillo yes, he’s the one to trade because the Reds won’t sign him after next season and he’s at his peak now.

    • Votto4life

      The Dodgers are not going to give up their top prospects for Tyler Mahle when he probably wouldn’t even crack their starting rotation.

    • Chris Wheeler

      Agree with THR. Even if it takes a little more money to resign Castillo, that is the right move.

      • Pete N Hall

        …..Even if it takes a little more money to resign Castillo, that is the right move.

        It’s going to take considerably more than ‘a little more money to resign Castillo’. He’s gonna want a minimum of 4 years, probably more like 5 or 6, and he’s going to command at least $30 million per year. Based on everything we’ve seen this ownership and front office do in the past, does anyone realistically think there’s the slightest chance the Reds even consider re-signing Castillo???…. It’s Not Going To Happen!!! So let’s all look at this realistically and hope Nick Krall negotiates the best deal of his life, for 3 or 4 above average prospects!
        If it’s with LAD something like Andy Pages (OF), Michael Busch (1B), Maddux Bruns (LHP), and Gavin Stone (RHP). That would be haul for the Reds, and that’s what they need…several above average prospects for a #1 mlb starter who they have no chance to sign long-term, and even if they did reverse course and sign LaPiedra for say 5yrs/$150mil they’d be locked into an albatross contract similar to Homer Bailey with no resources to build around him. Be realistic my fellow Reds fans.

    • Hanawi

      Castillo isn’t signing that extension and the Dodgers aren’t giving up that for Mahle. No chance on this happening at all. Reds need to maximize the return for Castillo now.

      • Tar Heel Red

        I apparently didn’t make my point clear. What I should have said is that the Reds don’t HAVE to trade a pitcher at all, but if you want one of our starters you are gonna have to overwhelm us with your offer or no deal. For once the Reds are in the driver’s seat and they need to take advantage of it.
        I actually think the best match for a trade is with the Giants, who are in urgent need of a starter. Mahle should be able to thrive in their ballpark and they have the prospects to offer.

  5. Old-school

    Reds have to acquire some good lefty hitters as part of their winning core in 2023+. Whether thats through trade or FA or both. Reds are barren in lefty hitters with the trade of Winker, Votto ‘s last season in 2023, and the non-performance of Moose. Naquin is a FA in a few months.

    I would prioritize elite lefty hitting prospects in a position of need who have proven themselves in the minors PLUS a top another top 100 player- probably a pitcher since you always need that. Not many teams that will be in the trade market have the prospect capital to match up with Castillo .

    1.)Red Sox- Triston Casas- 1b lefty big thumper AAA
    2.) Padres- Robert Hassel top lefty hitter and can play in CF
    3.) Dodgers-Michael Busch 1b.

    2nd player has to be a top 100 prospect as well to headline the package.

    • Votto4life

      I would hate to give up on Alex McGarry. We have more need in the outfielder.

      • Old-school

        We gotta DH now and need multiple lefty big bats. Rotate them through.

      • Old-school

        We gotta DH now in the NL and need multiple lefty big bats. Rotate them through. I’m following McGarry too. he looks like a potential mature big lefty bat.

      • MBS

        I’m a big McGarry guy to. I think he has a real shot of being ready at the start of next season. It could make Votto’s final season easier, by not having to carry the load at 1B, while he imparts some lessons to the young Slugger.

    • earmbrister

      Old School, how about the Royals who have the 2nd and 3rd highest rated prospects at 1B. Both lefties, one in AAA and one in MLB? (I agree we need a big LH bat, and if at 1B, I’d prefer a L/L).

      Yeah, the Royals probably aren’t looking to add Castillo, but that is what 3 team trades are for. KC seems to have a logjam at 1B, some creative thinking can solve both teams needs.

      • Old-school

        That was a thumbs up emoji that didnt go through?

      • Earmbrister

        LOL ?

        Pasquatino (sp?) had a big night tonight in MLB. Perhaps the 1B in AAA is available from KC.

      • Earmbrister

        My crying/laughing emoji likewise was a ?.

  6. LT

    Hollywood is rich, so let’s get a ransom for Mahle or Castillo. To me, smart teams, like San Francisco, would get Mahle because he’s very good away from GAP. Pay less for more. Dodgers, being hollywood, only want big names, so they would go after Castillo

  7. Old-school

    This is also the real test for keeping Stephenson at C. They arent signing a FA catcher so the only way to move to Stephenson to 1b is to acquire a young catcher through a trade. I dont see the Reds doing that.

    Dodgers top prospect is a catcher. Blue jays top prospect is a catcher. Yankees have a top hitting lefty catcher.

    • JB

      Dodgers aren’t giving up Cartaya. They love him and said he is their guy. Pages,Busch would give some depth at Of and Joey’s Replacement

      • Votto4life

        Teams always say they are not giving up a certain player until they do. Seriously, if Nick Krall approaches the trade settling for what the other team is willing to give him, then they really should just keep him.

        Luis Castillo is a two time all-star with a sub 3.00 era pitching in a notorious hitter’s park. A park that often leads the league in run scores and home runs.

        LC is at the peak of his career. If the dodgers are not willing to feel the pinch of giving up something of value for him than just go to the next team on the list. They are other teams that would love to have him.

      • Tom Diesman

        If you’re not willing to give up your top prospect and at least another top 10 prospect for Castillo, don’t bother calling.

    • MBS

      I’ve come around to trading Castillo for a C, but I’d want it to be the Jay’s Moreno. If they did get him, he’s MLB ready now. I was talking about this idea on MLB TR today.

      The Reds could have a heck of a C / DH combo with Stephenson and Moreno. This would save both their legs, and keep 2 very good bats in the lineup 162 games a year. It could be a 50 / 50 split, or a 60 / 40 split. The 60 / 40 split would be nice because you could always pair the C with their 2 or 3 P’s every time through the rotation.

      For example Stephenson could be the Catcher of Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft while Moreno could be the catcher of Mahle and Dunn.

      • Old-school


        Im open to a Castillo for elite C and 2nd prospect trade- preferably a lefty hitter but Mahle can get you 1 too assuming hes healthy

        Im on the Stephenson to first base train but I dont think the Reds are.

        So mahle plus Castillo yields elite SP + Of + lefty 1b/infield bat minimum

      • Greenfield Red

        MBS… no major league ready. Kiss of desth. Did you learn anything from the Jocketty disaster? Multiple 17 to 21 y.o. high end prospects is the only way out of this message

      • MBS

        @Greenfield, I with you on mid tier prospects, but he’s not just major league ready. Moreno is the 6th rated prospect in all of baseball and plays a premium position. That’s as close to a can’t miss as you can get.

  8. Pacful

    If the Reds are going to trade Castillo then they should really think way outside of the box and send Moose in the deal as well. Yes the Reds would get a lot less but it would free up money and I would put Brandon and Tyler under contract… The Reds are only a reliever or two away from contending…..I think India, Senzel, Pham, Votto, Stephenson, Brandon, Naquin, Farmer, and Barro is a pretty strong lineup…

  9. Magnum44

    I don’t know what the offer would be I haven’t looked at the Dodgers prospects but I would want their best prospect there 4th best prospect and Lux…..basically 2 bats and one arm for Castillo……If he goes to LA he is going to be lights out in that ballpark.

    • KG

      I hope the Reds can make that happen. Lux is having a solid year!

    • JayTheRed

      I highly doubt the Dodgers give up that much for Louis.

  10. Votto4life

    Honestly, for a team that is 32-54, no one should be off limits when it comes to trades. The Reds can lose 100 games without Luis Castillo or any other man on the roster.

    This team is historically bad. It is going to take a long time for this team to become competitive again.

    We like to assign dates for the Reds next championship. This team will be ready to win in 2024 or 2025. Like all we have to do is decide on the year and then just sit back and wait.

    Each of us know it’s not that simple. The Reds may not win another championship in this century. Ask Boston Red -Sox or Chicago Cubs fans.

    All they can hope to do is put themselves in a position to win. But even that takes

    (1) an owner committed to winning,

    (2) a competent General Manager who puts

    (3) a good system in place to evaluate talent,

    (4) a good field manager and coaching staff and

    (5) loyal fans who are going to support the team by showing up at the ballpark even in lean years. You also need

    (6) a lot of luck

    In my opinion, the Reds have none of those things.

    • LDS

      Could not agree more. But I suspect we’ll see no 3 of it.

    • MBS

      #1 We don’t have
      #2 I feel better about
      #3 I am not sure how much of the structure that DW built is still here
      #4 We don’t have
      #5 We only support winners
      #6 well lets just say we should call a witch doctor in to remove the bad luck we’ve experienced this year with all these injuries.

      • JayTheRed

        “Yo bartender Jobu needs a refill!”

    • SteveO

      They have number 6, but it’s Bad luck. Lol

    • VegasRed

      Well stated! I agree.

      I think the fan loyalty is out there and is mainly held in check by poor pr and communication of the plan from the top of the organization. And no, Krall and Bell are not the top! Just the yes men du jour that have little if any credibility.

      Also I would add a proven development system throughout the org, but you would like get that with your provenGM as you mentioned.

      I’m with you brother! If it is so clear to us and to many other fans, what are these owners thinking?

    • Earmbrister

      Yeah, I’m sorry but I don’t see this team as being historically bad nor do I think it’s gonna take a long time for them become competitive again.

      This was a mediocre team that was decimated by injuries. TWELVE pitchers have started a game for the Reds in a little more than a half a season. Yes, twelve in less than 4 months. NINE relievers are currently on the IL. Yes, we knew that Antone would not be back until next year, but who knew that Sims, Cessa, Justin Wilson, etc etc etc would fall. NINE relievers in IL, TWELVE starters, not to mention lengthy absences from various position players.

      That said, I’ve been a fan for over 50 years and I cannot remember a time when the Reds had so much young pitching talent. There were years when the Reds could only trot out one or two mediocre starters, and now we have Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Dunn, and a number of other young plus arms, in addition to Castillo and Mahle. Recent trades have brought in a lot of new talented young arms. Pitching is the hardest thing to acquire and we’ve seemingly accomplished that.

      There’s a solid young core of position players in India, Stephenson, and Senzel, with more on the way in the minors such as EDLC, McClain, McGarry et al. Trading Castillo should net you one or two more stud position players. And salary commitments beyond next year are next to nil so another FA or two can be added.

      The BP should be one of the last areas to be addressed due to the transitional nature of BPs. Yet you return a healthy Sims and Cessa/Hoffman to a backend of Antone and Diaz and there’s less work to do than it would appear.

      So, no I’m not on the doom and gloom bandwagon. Yeah, I’m optimistic by nature, but I see the glass as way more than half full.

      • Votto4life

        A team’s record is usually a pretty good indicator of a team’s performance. The Reds are on pace to their worst record since 1934. So, in that sense they are historically bad.

        I don’t think you can just chalk their record up to injuries. Certainly, injuries plays a role, but there are always injuries and there were plenty people on this forum who predicted a miserable season, long before opening day.

        I hope you are right and this team bounces back and takes the league by storm next season. I don’t think it will happen, but sure would be fun if it did.

        I was optimistic about the future of this franchise until the 2020-21 off-season, when Reds had a glaring need in their infield and refused to sign one of five free agent shortstops on the market. That told me all I needed to know about the direction of this franchise. It has only gotten worse since then.

      • earmbrister

        Yes, there are always injuries but the Reds are leading MLB with the number of games missed due to injury. For reference, the TB Rays are second on that injury list (and it was visible on the field in that last series). Now most fans would consider the Rays to be a well run organization, so a lot of the injuries could be chalked up to just bad luck. And there’s been plenty of bad injury luck. Twelve pitchers have started games for the Reds thru 86 games. In contrast, six pitchers started games for the Reds in a 162 game 2012 season (with four pitchers exceeding 200 IP) and that sixth starter had exactly 1 start. That kind of luck is rare, but twelve starters is absurd. How many teams go 12 deep in starters? How many teams can lose 9 relievers to injury (current situation) and still have anything better than a AAAA BP? That 2012 team had 4 relievers with 63 or more appearances (with Sean Marshall leading the way with 73 followed by Chapman with 68). The 2022 Reds may have 1 reliever just barely get to 60 games (Hunter Strickland, who wouldn’t have been my first choice to stay the healthiest).

        Since a start that was indeed historically bad (3-22, .120 winning %) the Reds have gone 29-32 in the last 61 games. You don’t have to go back to 1934 to find a worst winning % (1937 was worse BTW) because even with that horrible start their current % of .372 is quite close to 2015 (.395) 2018 (.414) 2001 (.407) 1982 (.377) etc. etc. It’s no longer certain that they’ll even lose 100 games, so we seem to be moving away from the “historically bad” conversation. Yeah, the FO pulled the plug on this season as they moved on from Miley, Gray, Winker, Suarez … but would we be better off with a .500 team and less players in the prospect pipeline?

        I also wanted the Reds to acquire one of those SS in the 2020/2021 offseason, but would Didi (for instance) have been the missing piece to push us deep into the playoffs on a year after year basis going forward? The Reds FO pushed all their chips in during the 2019/2020 offseason with the acquisition of Miley, Moustakas, and Castellanos and re-signing Bauer to a $17.5MM deal. Covid came out of seemingly nowhere to wipe out their plans. They were never going to re-sign Bauer or Castellanos so it was decision time. I’m glad that they have eschewed treading water this year at a .475 to .525 winning clip and have set themselves up for future sustained success. It would be reasonable to assume that they intend to move Castillo, Pham, and perhaps others. Heck, they may have wanted to move Mahle too, but who knows. Castillo and Pham alone will probably return 2-3 very good prospects/players. If 1-2 of these pan out added to other current prospects like EDLC, McClain, McGarry, along with another few high draft picks this year and next you will have a legitimate open window of contention.

        The late ’70s early ’80s NY Mets were horrible until a young Doc Gooden, Ron Darling, and Sid Fernandez came up around 1984 (BTW, George Foster was in LF and producing in ’84 and ’85). That was the start of a 7 year period of contending. The current and future young Reds pitching could very well rival that NYM pitching renaissance.

        I’ll grant you that it’s hard to see immediate success (i.e. playoffs in 2023), but I do see marked improvement next year and a lot of the team’s bets starting to pay off. The Reds should be contending going forward, but the best laid plans of man are often for naught. I see the Cards falling to the wayside as their pitching isn’t (and won’t be) holding up with the Cubs also not having the pitching horses. It should be us and the Brewers going forward with their window closing before ours does, but with their success coming at present.

        Perhaps I have Rose colored glasses (mine would be BRM colored), but I am optimistic.

        And despite our views sometimes being different, I respect that you are also a die hard Reds fan as well.

      • Votto4life

        Yeah, I think we just have a difference of opinion on the quality of the Reds current roster and of their prospects.

        We both want the same thing though.

  11. Indy Red Man

    Who was the RLN member that recently doubted my scouting abilities (self proclaimed of course) by bringing up my suggestion years ago to trade for Jose Urena and said how dumb that would’ve been. You know who you are…lol.

    6.1ip= 1 earned in Dodger Stadium
    6 ip = 2 earned in Coors tonight vs SD

    The guy has always had a live arm and that gives him a chance. Thats the kind of sleepers the Reds should be looking for

    • Old-school

      Im the RLN member that said adam duvall for lucas sims was a reds win!!!


      • Indy Red Man

        Yeah I defended Adam as long as I could, but he was in a horrific slump his last year as a Red. It didn’t look like he’d be a regular any longer and Atlanta even sent him down that first year. Nobody can predict that much actually

  12. TOM


    • MBS

      I feel like I’m a broken record about how much help we need in the pen. I think the only way to solve it, is signing a legit FA closer, and an established FA setup man. Once we have this, the other pieces can fall into place in less high leverage situations.

      • MadMike

        Thr logic is sound but there aren’t enough good relievers to go around. You would have to outbid big market teams with a mid-market payroll.

        Another low budget approach is to draft college closers but that tactic hasn’t seemed to work often, maybe those arms tend to be overworked by their coaches.

        Tough problem.

    • Indy Red Man

      Nobody wants to trade for a reliever because they come/go so quickly. Cessa looked really solid at the end with the Yankees and last year with us. 2022 different story

      I’d say just try to find guys with live arms and have a reputation for being coachable. Going way back….maybe the Reds could find a mediocre starter somewhere like Dennis Eckersley that really finds his groove in high leverage.

      • Old Big Ed

        Eckersley had 155 wins as a starter through his age 31 season, and he led the league in ERA+ one year.

        I’d be thrilled to have a lot of “mediocre” starters like Dennis Eckersley, and give them the ball every 5th day.

    • Old-school

      Reds have 6 of the top 123 picks in the draft coming up

      I’d like to see them use the 94 and 123 pick on college arms who profile as relievers and have proven it at the college level. Tennessee has a guy who throws 105 mph as a closer. I’m not a college guy but the point is spend draft capital with the first 4 picks 18/32/55/73 on best player available but then use next 2 picks on relievers with high ceilings. Thats supposedly Derek Johnson’s wheelhouse.

  13. Optimist

    Others have raised the red flag about trading with the Yankees. There’s a variation with the Dodgers – namely, they may be most willing to pay for what they want, as in take Moose and his contract along with Castillo, which clearly lessens the return, even if it were better than any other teams.

    Plenty of mention of many of the Dodgers prospects, but would the Dodgers take Castillo and Moose for only? Lux -They might, and the Reds FO would grab that chance, and so much for prospects. Much as I’d want Lux in the package, they could get more than a single player in return.

    • BK

      No. Lux is their #4 hitter in terms of bWAR and OPS+ and he’s getting on base and scoring for them. They have no proven replacement to backfill him in a year when they believe they are legit World Series contenders. While Castillo is a better player (at least to me), given that Lux is still on a ML minimum salary and controlled for 4 more seasons after this one, I’m not sure the Reds would do better than get him straight up for Castillo, if that. While I’ve always wished the Reds could snag Lux, I don’t see how this makes sense for either team.

      • Optimist

        It makes sense for the Dodgers if they expect to extend LC, which they are clearly capable of. Lux is getting to a high performance level, and has more years of control, but the pitching premium may exceed that.

        It’s the years of control that makes sense to the Reds, and I’m afraid they’d go for such a straight up deal. I’d still prefer, and think, they can get an MLB player AND prospect(s) for LC. But I cannot see the Reds resisting the offloading salary aspect, in exchange for not landing the extra prospects.

        For the reasons you state, I’d see the Dodgers more hesitant to do this than the Reds.

  14. Tom Diesman

    It’s now been reported that the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Dodgers are in the running thus far for a Luis Castillo trade. The following are four prospects from each of these teams that I’d want at least 3 of in return in a Castillo trade.


    Player, Team MLB Prospect Rank, Position, Age, 22 Level, Slash Line or ERA/WHIP
    Anthony Volpe, #1, SS, 21, AA, .246/.342/.442/.784
    Austin Wells, #4, C, 23, A/A+/AA, .274/.385/.507/.892
    Ken Waldichuk, #5, LHSP, 24, AA/AAA, 2.44/1.11
    Hayden Wesneski, #7, RHSP, 24, AAA, 3.79/1.16

    Blue Jays

    Player, Team MLB Prospect Rank, Position, Age, Level, Slash Line or ERA/WHIP
    Gabriel Moreno, #1, C, 22, AAA/MLB, .324/.380/.404/.784 (AAA) – .276/.300/.293/.593 (MLB)
    Orelvis Martinez, #2, SS/3B, 20, AA, .212/.280/.473/.753
    Samad Taylor, #16, 2B/OF, 24, AAA, .260/.339/.430/.769
    Spencer Horwitz, #30, 1B, 24, AA/AAA, .306/.415/.533/.948


    Player, Team MLB Prospect Rank, Position, Age, Level, Slash Line or ERA/WHIP
    Diego Cartaya, #1, C, 20, A/A+, .270/.406/.539/.945
    Michael Busch, #3, 2B/1B, 24, AA/AAA, .270/.362/.549/.911
    Andy Pages, #4, OF, 21, AA, .245/.352/.475/.827
    Miguel Vargas, #5, 3B/2B/1B, 22, AAA, .293/.377/.494/.871

    • SteveO

      Great choices. For me, we don’t touch top 4 of Yankees, but try to get 4 players in Waldichuk, Wesneski, Warren(#27) and Weissert(AAA reliever). I like Ricky Tiedemann(HighA SP) instead of Martinez for the Blue Jays and Pepiot(AAA SP), Miller(AA SP), and Stone(AA SP) instead of Busch or Pages for LAD. Just personal preference because I think that we really need to bolster our pitching.

    • BK

      Yes, this is an awesome list. I’d add LHP Ricky Tiedemann to your Blue Jays list. He’s 19 years old and has already been promoted to A+ and sports a 2.39 ERA with a 0.93 WHIP over 8 starts. He tossed 67.2 innings, allowed just 34 hits with 103K and just 25 BB in his first season as a pro and has been equally dominating at both A and A+.

    • Redsvol

      Good list Tom but I’m not wild about those blue jays prospects. Other than Moreno, we have a lot of similar prospects in the way that have similar statistics. I’d want more pitching flavor coming back. This trade deadline we need a couple really good outfielder prospects, a catcher and several pitchers. After the top names are agreed too, I would want krall forcing an extra mid level relieving prospect out of every trade. We need several arms coming back.

    • JaxDan


      Blue Jays




      Red Sox

      Mahle to San Francisco for Kyle Harrison and Patrick Bailey

  15. Roger Rosen

    Dodger rotation: (1) Gonsolin [all star best record/ERA in baseball]; (2) Kershaw [all star ERA under 2.50]; (3) Julio Urias [20 game winner 2021]; (4) Tyler Anderson 9-1 ERA 3.00; (5) Andrew Heaney to return in late July; (6) Dustin May to return in August [most talented of all of them]; (7) Walker Buehler to return in September [top 5 starter in NL]; (8) Mitch White [above average results this year, still learning to pitch]; (9) Pepiot [would be in starting rotation on 1/2 the teams in MLB now] (10) Bobby Miller [Dodgers’ best starting prospect, AA, 2023 ETA] (11) Gavin Stone [one of the best pitchers in AA this year] (12) Landon Knack [AAA, 2023 ETA] — so where is Castillo going to fit in, for what price?

  16. paul olbert

    insist on loui s to the jays so we can throw in 15 million of joeys contract and get a 30 hr guy on the market at 1b next year and a starting pitcher to boot

  17. docproc

    Hoping Castillo has a lights-out game in Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
    And if he does, tell the Dodgers it will take Cartaya and Pages to get him.

  18. Mark Moore

    Jimmy Bowden is saying that “every contender” has checked in on LC. Reds “aren’t close to a deal” at this point.

    If the interest is that wide (I suspect it is), maybe we do get a good return.

    • LDS

      There’s still the Krall factor and probably looking to dump Moose as part of the deal. I’m not optimistic at this point based on history.

      • Bill

        I am optimistic that Moose will not be part of the deal. If he is we know the Reds are not serious about winning and only care about reducing payroll. The fact that they have traded for Minor and signed guys like Pham tell me a lower payroll may not be the only objective, although both those moves were strange.

    • Bill

      I agree, there is almost no way to mess this one up. They are going to get some highly prized prospects back. The only question is if they become quality major league players or not. Look back at the return from Cueto as a three month rental, he got multiple top 100 prospects but they all failed to live up to the hype. Then look at guys like Farmer and Suarez who were throw in pieces in their trades who ended up as valuable pieces. All they need is one to become a star to the trade worthwhile.

      The downfall to most of the Reds trades have been holding on too long or trading at the lowest point. They also made the mistakes of getting fixated on a particular player like Perazza who they tried to get from the Dodgers multiple times before succeeding.

      I think if they approach this as a bidding war and take the best package regardless of position vs demanding one specific player the Reds will be better off in a couple of years. If somehow they end up with two all star caliber players at a position in 2024 that is not a bad thing.

    • Votto4life

      I think you are right Mark. I think it’s fool proof. The Reds will get a substantial return for LC.

      I will hate to see him go though. I’ll be rooting for him this October.

  19. Roger Garrett

    Reds really can’t miss unless they include Moose.Otherwise you ask for the other teams top prospect as a starting point and go from there.If they can’t start with that then go to another team who will.Truth is if Castillo goes to a really good team he will win 15 every year.Thats worth a bundle and Reds should ask for a bundle in return.

    • Votto4life

      I agree Roger. If the Reds trade LC to move Moose’ contract we are doomed. As much as I dislike the Castellinis, I don’t think they will go that far. If they do, then I’ll find a new hobby.

  20. BK

    Perhaps, sometimes our expectations are simply unrealistic. However, there are multiple teams chasing Luis Castillo and most agree he’s the “best player available” which puts the Reds in a great position.

    A couple of things to keep in mind, has the most accessible and the most easily filtered prospect list. However, reputationally they have long been behind Baseball America, Fangraphs, The Athletic and others. Also, their list were last updated pre-season, so it’s pretty stale.

  21. MBS

    For me, if you can’t get an “overpay”, then you don’t make the move. I will not be upset with watching Castillo pitch for the Reds the next year and a half. I would be upset if we trade him for peanuts, or package him with Moustakas to clear money off the books.

  22. Bill

    I wouldn’t be so sure of that. The Yankees got Gleyber Torres and others for Chapman, who was a rental. That is a top 25 prospect for three months of a relief pitcher. If someone wants Castillo, especially teams with deep pockets they won’t be afraid to trade prospects. Dansby Swanson was the 10th ranked when he was traded. There are plenty of examples

    • Bill

      I guess that depends on your definition of recent. Those trades are about five years ago and we have seen top 50 prospects traded in the last couple of year for rentals

    • Tom Diesman

      Just a real quick glance at last years deadline deals produced the following which suggest that top 20 prospects are indeed being dealt still.

      Kris Bryant returned a #9 and #30
      Javier Baez returned a #5
      Jose Berrios returned a #2 and #4
      Max Scherzer and Trea Turner returned a #1 #2 and #17
      Joey Gallo and Joely Rodríguez returned a #14 #15 #23 and #28

  23. WillDCat

    I’ve seen nothing from this mgt/ownership group that leads me to believe they will get this right – this being, Castillo, et al, being available to trade to contenders. Most teams in contention want to trade, but are not willing to offer their top prospects in return. Often, they want to give up 4 or 5 guys that they no longer feel good about instead. If they give Castillo away, and get 4 or 5 guys in return, there is little chance any of those guys will be blue chip prospects. On occasion a team will give up a top-tier prospect, if he is close to the majors and blocked at his position with the big club. Many teams wanting to trade feel like they are only 1, or 2 guys from being a legit playoff team, and often those desired guys are arms. For once, the Reds are holding all the cards – how well they play them could determine when this current rebuild will become a contender.

    • Rednat

      i agree WillDCat. the chances of the reds management pulling an amazing ,franchise altering trade with Castillo Are slim to none. dodgers and yankees prospects tend to be way overblown by the media (Jose Peraza) and the prospects they trade rarely ever pan out. Castillo is clicking on all cylinders right now and I would love to watch him for another year and half dominating the competition for the reds.

      i actually think the rest of this year and next year will be pretty fun for the reds if we keep what we have right now. not saying we are going to the world series. but it could be fun

    • Votto4life

      I hate to see Luis Castillo traded as well, but I also would hate for the Reds to wait until next summer to trade him, when the return will be something akin to the return the Reds received for Johnny Cueto.

      Let’s say the Reds keep LC. Do you honestly believe they will make the play-offs next season? because if they don’t, he will walk for a compensation pick.

      The Reds are not going to sign him to an extension. He is going to demand $30 Million a Year for at least four years and may insist on five years. The Reds are not going to pay $120 or $150 Million.

      Luis Castillo is having one of his best seasons and the Reds are still 22 games under .500.

      I wish the Reds had someone other than Nick Krall making this trade. But that ship has sailed.

      I find some solace in the fact that the other trades Krall has made, has been largely about slashing payroll. I truly believe trading Castillo will be about prospect acquisition. If it’s not, if it’s about dumping Moustakas’ contract, then this team is doomed anyway.

  24. SteveO

    I think if you’re LC, knowing that ownership will not spend to build a competitive team year in and year out, you want to get traded to a contender that has a good chance to make the playoffs every year. Especially, if he gets traded to teams with pitcher friendly ballparks, that’ll make him that much better. He has put up his numbers having to make half his starts in GABP, arguably the most hitter friendly ballpark in MLB. Imagine if he can make half his starts in Dodger stadium or Petco park. And with the Dodgers lineup behind him everyday. His goal is to make it to FA and cash in to the highest bidder, which unfortunately won’t be the Reds. Trading him before the deadline is the best option for the Reds, even if fans don’t think so. Honestly, I don’t want to see our best pitcher go, but for the sustainability of our team, it’s the best thing to do.

  25. Rednat

    tell me , you are not at least a little excited about tonight’s reds’ line up

  26. Billy D.

    The Reds better tread carefully and they better get this right. We the fans remember this past off-season. If the Reds, trade Castillo, they BETTER get a big time player, one that WILL be a HUGE benefit to team and help them WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP.

  27. Old-school

    This is a mismatch.
    Reds beat cole with the Astros in GABP a few years ago. This is where u miss Winker and a younger Votto.

    Zero lefty hitters.

    They gotta fix the lefty hitting problem.

  28. Old-school

    This is a mismatch.
    Reds beat cole with the Astros in GABP a few years ago. This is where u miss Winker and a younger Votto.

    Zero lefty hitters.

    They gotta fix the lefty hitting problem.