The clock ticks. The sands in the hourglass continue to obey the law of gravity. Watching Luis Castillo pitch his final innings on the mound at GABP this month brings back painful memories of Johnny Cueto spending his last days on the bump, knowing he would soon be wearing another uniform, likely heading for October without the team he’d spent so many summers toiling in the summer sun.

It’s just coincidence the New York Mets were in town and the Reds are now in the Bronx, a little more than a fortnight before Luis pulls off his red uniform for the last time, likely pulling on some shade of blue; maybe the color of the Chevez Ravine cerulean sky; perhaps a gaudy royal Metropolitan hue. Or god forbid, the darkest of all—a Bronx navy. Think Aroldis Chapman and cringe all over again.

The Reds need to get everything for Castillo now. He’s 151 days away from being on the wrong side of 30 years old and his agent surely wants 6 years. Minimum. That’s not a deal that makes sense for a small market team. He’ll have two more postseason opportunities with his new team. Make them pay. Names like Anthony Volpe, Andy Pages, Francisco Alvarez and Oswald Peraza may be viewed as untouchable by their teams, but they should be mandatory starting points in any discussion if an organization with a Madison Avenue roster wants in on the La Piedra Sweepstakes.

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman of The New York Post, the Yankees like Castillo, as do many teams. However, the Reds are asking general manager Brian Cashman and staff for one of their top two shortstop prospects, Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza.

This all but demolishes the possibility between the two sides striking a deal. This ask was a non-starter in the offseason when the Yankees were trying to trade for first baseman Matt Olson, too.

All of this was before Luis Severino left Wednesday’s game with shoulder issues pending an MRI. The injury-prone Severino has to now worry the Death Star in the Bronx. But, if it’s a non-starter for Cashman, so be it. Move on to the next suitor. The point is—do not settle. Make somebody pay.

If it feels like you need the new James Webb Space Telescope to see the Reds next window, you’re not alone. It’s always the future for the Have Nots, while it’s always today for the Haves.

You hear all kinds talk from big market presidents and fans alike decrying the tanking that goes on in baseball. How teams like the A’s and the Reds are pocketing revenue sharing dollars instead of investing in winning. Whenever you hear this, just remember: you’re being played.

Revenue sharing is the price teams like the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, etc., pay for the yearly bacchanal that takes place at the trading deadline, when, like sharks, they circle the waters of the smaller fish who cannot afford the best players in the game, who are retooling or rebuilding. The sharks rarely go into these bad cycles themselves. Their windows stay perpetually open, the fresh air of winning always blowing in from off the coast. The farm systems they build are used as chits to acquire the best players in the game in exchange for something called “the future.”

If owners and their toadies are angry with anyone, it’s the teams that take their money, then beat them—like the Tampa Bay Rays. But that’s the outlier.

Who really hates revenue sharing and tanking, rebuilding, retooling, or whatever label you wish to slap on it? The players’ union. They want as many teams competing for their members services as possible, driving up salaries. And when there are only a small handful of teams that can afford Mookie Betts, that’s bad for business.

But don’t get this twisted. None of this is meant to excuse the cheap and shoddy behavior of the Castellini’s after the new CBA was announced. They should have spent and given their team on the field a reasonable chance to compete. Especially on the heels of last season. But this is not a binary choice. We can expect ownership to spend while still acknowledging that they can never spend enough to compete on the same level with those with almost unlimited resources. An organization can be expected to draft and develop better, while still acknowledging that a team with the resources to hire five times the scouts to look under five times the rocks to unearth talent has an unholy advantage. And we can acknowledge that while on any given night a team with a pitcher making the major league minimum (Graham Ashcraft) can best a team with a $325M pitcher (Gerrit Cole), it’s not a blueprint for sustained success.

So now we get to watch another player go, one the Reds shrewdly acquired and developed, one we loved watching on days rainy and sun-drenched, only to see him put on a fresh new suit and take another girl uptown to the dance, while we sit at home and watch reruns of Johnny Bench and the Baseball Bunch bathed in the flickering light of the family room TV.

We should make them pay dearly for it. Anything else is highway robbery.

In truth, it always is, no matter the outcome. The sharks rarely go hungry.

64 Responses

  1. SultanofSwaff

    We Reds fans understand the concept of delayed gratification. If you keep Castillo and let him walk you get the compensatory pick. Certainly the odds are much less than trading Castillo for a ‘can’t miss’ prospect, but it’s not nothing.

    With that being understood, I’m not opposed to keeping him and making a run in 2023. Certainly there are holes to fill on the offensive side and in the bullpen, but you just might have the best starting staff in the majors. That alone likely punches your ticket to the dance. For a franchise starved of hope it would be a godsend.

    If you do trade him, the available players outside of the Dodger’s catcher is underwhelming. Most are 2-3 WAR ceiling guys….respectable, but not the franchise altering talent we deserve for Castillo. Yes, if the fans are expected to delay gratification another couple seasons, Krall needs to make someone pay thru the nose.

    • Richard Fitch

      I think you may be vastly underselling the talent that’s out there in the farm systems of the teams out there looking for pitching. But even if I accept your assessment of the paucity of talent available, you can sure win a lot of games with a roster full of 2-3 WAR guys.

      Keeping Castillo and “making a run” means accepting another tiny window, assuming everything goes right. If it doesn’t, the window was never really open at all and it slams shut for the foreseeable future.

      • MFG

        Agree Richard, trade Castillo for a few MLB ready prospects. I disagree on going after a shortstop however. We have DeLacruz 1-2 years away from MLB. I think we need outfield help. What about signing Farmer to an extension to play SS and/or a utility role for a few years? I would trade Mahle, Drury, Pham and Naquin for sure.

    • west larry

      agreed, someone has to pay. the dodger’s gifted catcher has not reached aa yet. too risky. I would ask for Lux and either Busch or Pages, Lux has five years of control, can play second, third or corner outfielder. He looks like a future all-star. Toronto has a top ten rated catcher in Gab Moreno. He could lead a good package for Castillo, and he’s already in triple a. The yanks are probably really interested as one of their starters now has a shoulder injury, but i don’t trust their prospects, particularly with the crap we got in the Chapman trade, if we trade to the Yankees, make them really pay. The red sox, Twins, Padres, Giants and Seattle are also interested. We should get a good haul of prospects. Can we trust the g m? we have no choice but to trust his judgment.

    • jr53

      You’re right. Keep him. If he brings back prospects, India, Stevenson, and Senzel will be on the trade block before they are ready. One year is all a small market team can put together . Right now you have Drury, Almora, Reynolds, and Farmer who are all producing at way above what they cost. I see a window.

    • David

      I think compensatory picks are now gone with the new Player’s agreement.

      So, if a team lets a big time player walk, they get …..bupkis. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.

      Again, this is geared to getting teams swapping players and the players getting the maximum deal. If the Yankees/Mets/Dodgers trade young talent for Luis Castillo, they are going to SIGN him to a contract, and not turn around and let him walk.
      Which is what the KC Royals did after getting Cueto. He helped carry them to a World Series win.
      We got three good potential pitchers. They ALL washed out. Bad luck, bad juju for the Reds. The Royals only got Cueto for 3 months, and ….that was that.

    • Nelson coble

      Watching the game now and the home plate umpire is extremely pro NY on balls and strikes. It is embarrassing.

  2. BK

    Richard, this is another in a long line of outstanding articles you’ve authored. Thank you.

    One area of disagreement … I think MLBPA really likes the arrangement of haves and have-nots in MLB. It allows top tier free agents to earn top dollar on long-term contracts and sign them knowing their newly chosen team will likely be competitive throughout their contract. As long as they keep the CBT levels moving upwards, the top teams, all of which have revenues to easily support increasing payroll, will keep offering the biggest contracts and perpetuate the cycle of MLB players earning well more than their fair share of the biggest dollar value contracts in sports while getting to play for the best teams in the league each year. Yes, they would like the small market teams to spend more, but that’s only to take care of the lower tier of Free Agents and the younger players who are being developed for their big payoff later–after they’ve “paid their dues.”

  3. J

    If the Yankees are genuinely interested, they should make a deal before 7pm today and virtually guarantee the trade will result in a win before LC throws a single pitch for them. It would be crazy to let him beat you and then deal for him a few days later. That’s the sort of thing I’d expect from the Reds — but not from a serious Major League Baseball organization.

    • Luke J

      lol The Yankees aren’t worried about a single game in mid July rushing a deal that could bring them a World Series. I can just about guarantee the game tonight (other than continued scouting of Castillo and keeping him healthy) isn’t even a blip on the radar of NY with regards to trying to prevent Castillo from beating them. In fact, they more likely think they can and will beat him tonight.

      • J

        I wasn’t serious about the Yankees needing to worry about one game (which they’re still likely to win), but I was serious about the Reds being the kind of organization that would miss the playoffs because they insisted on waiting until the last possible moment to pull the trigger on a deal they could have made a few weeks earlier.

  4. Ryan

    The Reds’ cycle of developing later unaffordable players will never end

    • Old Big Ed

      Well, that is a lot better than the alternative, which is producing bad players who have no change of being “unaffordable.”

      The trick is to lock in an Elly De La Cruz very early, like the Rays did with Wander Franco and the Braves did with Ronald Acuna, Jr. And they need to produce a regular crop of pitchers, which they seem to be on track to do, with 3 rookie starters being brought up this year.

      • JohnnyTV

        I doubt if the Reds have even talked to Castillo and his agent about what it would take to resign him.

        The lists of “prospects” here seem like lotto tickets at best. None strike me as can’t miss game / team changers, which is what the Reds are giving up with Castillo.

        Call me a pessimist, but I’m in favor of signing Castillo as I don’t trust Krall or the team to properly assess talent to receive value…let alone “seller’s market” value for a top line pitcher.

        Since we just saw Cole pitch, I’m reminded of what the Pirates received from the Astros for him: a lot of prospects including RLN whipping boy Colin Moran.

      • Old Big Ed

        Castillo will want $25-30 million/year in free agency, assuming he isn’t hurt. The Reds can’t and won’t take on that financial risk for a 30-year-old pitcher. Ask the Nationals how they feel about extending Stephen Strasberg for 7/$245 million after his age 30 season. One quarter of a billion dollars, down the drain.

        Therefore, the alternative is to trade now, or else get the 32nd pick for Castillo in the 2024 draft, which is truly a lottery ticket. Other than a few guys like Junior and A-Rod, pretty much every prospect is a gamble until they prove it at the highest level. But at least the Reds can trade now for a prospect with a professional track record — one who is 1-2 years and not 4 years from being in MLB.

        Everyone likes to bash Krall, but his recent trades for prospects were solid. He got Connor Phillips and Brandon Williamson from the Mariners, and Chase Petty from the Twins. Plus, the Reds have known since spring training that the likeliest destination for Castillo was New York, LA, Toronto or a few other teams. They’ve been scouting and analyzing those organizations all year and ought to have some pretty firm opinions by now.

        You don’t have to convince me that the Pirates are stupid, or were in that period. They didn’t know what they had in Gerrit Cole, and they traded Shane Bax, Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows for a 29-year-old Chris Archer. They traded good players for cruddy prospects, and good prospects for cruddy players.

  5. docproc

    Tonight feels like a playoff game. If Castillo kicks Yankee butt on their home turf, his price tag goes through the ceiling.
    Must get a top-tier outfielder and catcher. The Dodgers, Padres, and Giants can fill that bill. And those ballparks would be nice landing spots for both Castillo and (especially) Mahle.

  6. Optimist

    I’ve commented about the likelihood they still consider packaging a salary with LC (Moose!), and how it affects a trade in the worst way. A detail I’d add to Richard’s summary is the need for BOTH an existing MLB talent AND a top prospect(s). In terms of the Dodgers that is Lux, and pick one from the list. If needed, I’d throw in a Reds lesser prospect to make the deal.

    But the key to making them pay is multiple certain returns – that includes someone on the 26-man now, and AA/AAA talent awaiting the call-up.

    They’ll not get a Trout/Soto/Acuna locked in prospect back, hence the need for an immediate MLBer to cover the slight risk the prospect is a bust.

  7. Old Big Ed

    Unfortunately, trading for prospects (and even young MLB players) is an inherently dicey proposition. The Marlins got Lewis Brinson for Christian Yelich. The Braves, on the other hand, got young John Smoltz for an aging Doyle Alexander.

    It will take a couple of years or more to know if the Reds really did “make somebody pay.” Going into 2018, MLB had the Nationals’ Victor Robles as the #6 prospect, and Juan Soto as #29. Oops! Nick “Pickoff” Senzel was #7; Max Fried was #83.

    The Reds need to be good with the trade, but it would be better if they are also lucky.

    • JB

      No top prospects- no deal. Yankees might be in trouble if Severino’s MRI comes back bad. Reds need to take their time. The way injuries are happening ,there could be alot more in the next 2 weeks. Let’s not forget if Castillo shuts the Yanks down tonight his value to Boston or Houston will be higher. Especially the Red Sox.

  8. Rednat

    GEEZ LOUISE! .HAS ANYBODY WATCHED THE last 2 games! the Yankees, with the best record in baseball in many years are not that much better than our reds. in fact they looked like a mediocre team if this were the mid 1980’s. we are not that far away. most of us reds fans are aging fast. we are not too interested in 2026 and beyond. get a couple pieces , try to keep Drury and Pham and Naquin for next year and lets try to at least make the playoffs next year!

    • Bill

      Don’t confuse two games with the entire season. The Reds are no where near ready to compete

      • Kevin H

        And yet they beat the Ray’s 3 games and best the “unbeatable Yankees ” 1 game and “competed” lastnght. So yes they are competing.

      • Bill

        Do you really consider 33-55 competing? If they make the playoffs this year I’ll buy you game tickets.

      • Kevin H

        They started 3-22. They are now 30-33, Not bad for a team with that start. So, yes to me they are competing. You don’t beat teams like Rays and Yankees without competing. Positives in a terrible year is what its about.

      • Bill

        No they are still 33-55, with the third worst record in the league. Even if they could throw out their first 25 games it is a losing record.

      • greenmtred

        There’s an old saying to the effect that, on any given day, any team can beat any other team. This is particularly true of baseball–a starting pitcher having a great day can erase a lot of futility. The Reds have their moments, and often play with a lot of heart, but their record this year–including that abysmal start–is not an aberration. They may be a player or two away from respectable mediocrity, but no player (or two) realistically available to them will make them serious championship contenders next year. With luck with the young pitchers and prospects (including people they get via the Castillo trade), maybe 2024 could be a different story.

    • VaRedsFan

      Keep Drury, Pham, and Naquin? Huh??
      Drury maybe. But NO to the other two.

      So in other words you want to keep the same team as this year….lol

  9. LDS

    Good article. I’m all for charging the sun & the moon for Castillo. But let’s trade Pham, Naquin, maybe Drury (unless he’ll take a “reasonable” 2-3 year contract), Mahle and others. Get a lot of new blood and actually let them play. And no packaged Moose or Minor deals. The Reds bought them. They own them. Man up and DFA Moose and see if Minor is tradeable with maybe a throw-in like Friedl.

    • Old Big Ed

      I want to keep Drury, but I would insist that he first learn how to handle run-downs at the level of the average 13-year-old. I will remember that blunder for the rest of my life.

  10. Greenfield Red

    For Castillo:

    From LAD (my preference), Cartaya, Pages, and Carlos Duran. If they balk take out Pages, put in Leonard and Bruns.

    From NYY Volpe, Wells, and Selvidge. If they balk take out Wells put in Lange and Pereira.

    Then with Mahle, Drury, and the rest, add similar pieces… albeit not a many per trade as they get for Castillo.

  11. J

    It feels like we go through this same process whenever the Reds are in sell mode. The bloggers and fans come up with an impressive list of prospects they’d demand, and, if a deal ever gets done, the Reds probably wind up with none of those players. Instead, we’ll most likely be reading about a few players who were on nobody’s radar. It’ll be some organization’s 8th and 17th best prospects, plus a mediocre major leaguer who can fill the roster spot. Most will believe the Reds got completely taken, because it won’t seem remotely possible that this was the best return they could get. Some will try to find the silver lining and insist the Reds might have done better than most people realize (because the guy who’s ranked #8 was ranked as high as #2 in their organization before he got hurt in 2019, and his recent stats have been really encouraging, plus, let’s not forget that Farmer was just considered a mediocre “throw-in” player, and now he’s a dependable starter.) Then we’ll all watch LC win some playoff games for another team and try to imagine what that must feel like. If we’re lucky, one of the players the Reds get in this trade will eventually become a solid major league player — just in time for the Reds to trade him for prospects. And the beat goes on.

    • Greenfield Red

      Sadly, you are right. This is why the Reds need to stick to their guns. I don’t have confidence, and 10 years from now, they won’t have sniffed the WS.

      This is now another chance to change all of that. Come on Reds, get this right.

    • greenmtred

      It’s a beautiful evening. Baseball about to start. A nice drink or two in the offing, nice supper to follow. Then I read J’s comment and am enveloped in a fog of melancholy.

  12. JayTheRed

    Richard,
    Cueto was the last starting pitcher that I loved to watch pitch for the Reds because every time out you knew we were going to get a good performance.

    Here we are again not with Castillo. Same situation very good pitcher who I really enjoy watching pitch each time he goes to the mound.

    I know it makes sense for them to trade him but there is a big part of me that wants him to stay and lead our rotation for maybe the next 5 to 7 years or so. I would be purely shocked if this happens. I know it’s not how smaller market teams work though, and I pray we get a better return than what we got for Cueto if they truly are going to trade Castillo away.

    • Richard Fitch

      A big part of me would like to see the Reds keep him too. That’s the fan side of me leaking out into my heart. My head says otherwise.

      People always complained saying the Reds signed the wrong pitcher when they gave that contract to Bailey. What everyone omitted was that Cueto and his agent probably we dead set on testing the market. They saw the money the Cubs gave FA Jon Lester and they wanted to see how close they could come to that. Same with Mookie Betts. The Red Sox had no chance of extending him. He was set on testing the waters.

      If you knew Luis was going to be healthy for the next few years—well, there’s the rub. You don’t. You can’t know. Tommy John surgery on Castillo 2 years into the contract would cripple the Reds payroll. It would prevent them from spending more to improve the team further.

      That’s the thing. If Gerrit Cole’s arm suddenly fell off, it would hurt the Yankees, sure. But they would walk on. They’d find another top flight pitcher some team couldn’t afford, throw some big prospects their way and move on.

  13. Votto4life

    Great article Richard, I really appreciate the sentiment.

    I was just reading MLB Trade Rumor chat transcript, I really don’t know why I even bothered.

    A quick summary, The Yankees will not give up one of their best prospects for Luis Castillo. Reds fans likely to be very disappointed with the return for LC.

    Of course, the minute Castillo puts on pinstripes he will be the greatest pitcher since Lefty Grove.

    If the Yankees or the Dodgers won’t pay fair market value for Luis Castillo, I would just as soon keep him or if they must trade LC, send him to the Yankees/Dodger’s competition.

    • Greenfield Red

      V4L… The most important part of the return was that they be major league ready…. and they were. I think KC knew exactly what they were trading. Nothing.

  14. DaveCT

    One issue not being mentioned is who replaces Castillo as the leader of the staff. I have advocated for signing Castillo so he can anchor the staff with Greene, Ashcraft and Lodolo, with the 5th starter role working itself out. Some have suggested trading Mahle given his home field disadvantages, so its hard to see him leading the staff as I feel Castillo (and Cueto, and Bauer) is capable. MK weighed in about the risk of signing a 30 year pitcher, one, and someone on schedule for some decline with age. It’s pretty hard to argue against that. So, then, who leads the staff? It may have to be Mahle, if we keep him. Ashcraft and Greene both have leadership qualities, IMO (I’m leaning towards calling them Fire and Ice). So, do we let the leadership play out with the horses we’ve signed onto?

    • Jonathan Linn

      I agree DaveCT. Sign him and make him the leader of the Staff. Trade Mahle because of his home/away splits. Personally, I’m tired of this team losing and trading away the players that I love to listen to or watch.

  15. Jonathan Linn

    i want to keep Castillo for 3 @ $75-90M

    • A Former West Sider

      It’s likely he will be looking for at least 5-6 years.
      This is his big chance to sign a deal through his mid 30’s.
      Someone will underpay for the first 3 years and likely overpay for the last 3.

      We all remember what we got from Cueto – which didn’t amount o much.
      But on the other side of that trade the receiving teams paid through the nose for not much more.

      The first year after the trade – JC’s age 30 season – he was worth 4.9 fWAR. Great season…

      Since then…the following 5.5 years he has been worth 4.1 fWAR.
      And those were years 2 thru 6 of a 6 year $130MM contract.

      So – if alternative B was signing him to that contract – who much worse did we do.

      The bottom line is that players have a shelf life – and the Reds have already gotten the benefit of the VAST majority of Castillo’s value. His age 30 – 35 seasons aren’t LIKELY to be that valuable.

      We MAY not get value equal to what he is providiing NOW – but what he will provide in the future is LIKELY far more expensive and far less substantial.

      We’ve already received the benefit of Castillo.
      By 2024, there may not be much left.
      Spend that money elsewhere…

      • Jonathan Linn

        That is a good point on Cueto. Neither team won that trade. Maybe the Royals did because they went to the WS; but that is it. The players the Reds received were highly praised at the time…but didn’t pan out to anything. I use to be all in on Prospects…now i’m like. Keep the proven commodity (in some cases). Castillo is a proven #1-#2 Starter.

        leadership of a clubhouse is valuable and keeping players together is worth something.

  16. MBS

    I agree with the title of this article. If we do trade Castillo it better be for a top 20 prospect to start. If not, I’d rather just hang onto him. I like watching winning baseball, and Castillo here in 23 gives us a better chance to win. Really if we didn’t trade away Castillo or Mahle, our rotation could be ridiculously good next year. If they’d invest in a true closer, we could be a pretty good team.

  17. Votto4life

    Yankee fans are so darn smug. They act like you should be honored, if they are willing to take on your best player. I just as soon LC ends up in Toronto or Minnesota.

    The Twins actually might be a good landing spot food LC. They can make a run at the World Series this year and if it doesn’t pan out, they can recoup some of their losses by dealing LC at the deadline next year.

    • DaveCT

      They treat others as if they are their own personal minor leagues.

  18. Hanawi

    Given the nature of trade rumors, it might be a big assumption to read too much into them, but I’m going to do it anyway. Mostly because if the report that the Reds asked about the Yankees top 2 SS prospects is true, it intrigues me given the apparent depth of the position in the minors. Maybe the Reds aren’t as high on Barrero or McClain as one would think. To me, the issue going forward is the lack of real high potential outfielders, especially those with 30 HR power.

    • Bill

      It’s possible the Reds want a SS and don’t trust their current options. They also might have asked because one of them will likely be blocked or forced to change positions. Like when the Reds had Mesoraco and Grandad, it was a position of depth so one got traded

      The good thing about a SS is he can play almost any other position if you really want them on the field. You can’t do the same with a 1B.

  19. Roger Garrett

    Reds can’t miss on this one.Reds can’t settle because they are in the drivers seat.I do and maybe others do fail to realize that there are teams and cities that live and die on baseball.Its win a world championship or its a failed season.Reds must understand that and not take the best offer they get.They must get the other teams number 1 position prospect currently at AA and at least 2 more in the top 10 again position players.Sure thats a lot but Castillo is a plug in right now and go winner now and in the future.Krall did good on what he got for Gray,a 5 inning guy and Eugenio currently striking out at 35 % and Wink who is really just a hitter and more then likely a DH next year.Castillo is a much much greater prize and maybe the biggest chip we have had in a long time.

  20. JB

    Thank you OBE. Yes too much unjustified bashing of Krall. The guy has worked very hard with very little leverage. Give him a fair chance. He inherited Dick Williams horrible Moustakas contract. I would trade Naquin , Mahle for sure. I would keep Drury. Guys got a good glove and seems to be clutch hitter. I’d keep Senzel as well, even though I’m so tired of him getting picked off!!!!!

  21. William

    I am for the trade. GM IS A NICE GUY. HE WILL GET THE REDS THREE TOP 100 PROSPECTS. Laugh a little bit. It is good for you

  22. Votto4life

    I have been saying all along that to get maximum value for Luis Castillo, the Reds should trade him this summer.

    I still believe that’s the case, but if the deal is not there or teams refuse to meet the Red’s asking price, I would rather see the Reds pull LC back and try again this winter.

    No sense trying to trade him if the deal is not there. He will still have a lot of value this off-season.

    • Votto4life

      Actually, taking LC off the trade market this summer, would increase Tyler Mahle’s value.

      The Reds control the price and demand for starting pitchers at the moment. Might as well use it to our advantage.

    • Redsvol

      The key to any trade when you have the best chip in the market is to be willing to walk away. If the deal isn’t there, just walk away nick krall! Trade him later. He will still have tremendous value later.

  23. gusnwally

    Great article Richard. I always think you have a very realistic point to make. Not just a lot of heartfelt blabber. I paid my 5 0r 10 bucks at Redfest a few years ago. I had my pic taken with Luis Castillo. Still sits proudly in the cave. I remember trying to tell him how much I loved his pitching and told him I hoped he would have a great career.He didn’t really understand anything I said, I’m sure. But when I said I think he had a Cy Young in his future, he understood Cy Young. Out came that big sweet smile he shows so easily. So I in my heart would love to have him for all time. But, anybody who understands the market knows . There will be no 3 year deals. He is going to demand a minimum of 5 and probably more. Meaning the Reds can’t possibly hope to resign him at the amount of money that will be required.As far as the return it has to be huge. Don’t worry about those big time SS. DeLaCruz will wind up in the OF, get the best players at any positions.

  24. Jeremiah James Grissom

    Yeah got to trade Castillo in the next couple weeks and get the best possible deal. It almost seems like media bias that you pretty much only see the Yankees prospects being talked about. Are they really the best prospects out there? Unless you have Juan Soto, Wander Franco, in your farm system there are no untouchables when trading for Castillo in my opinion. If you are the Reds you have to at least get the #1 or #2 prospect in the other team’s minor league system in my opinion. Or maybe like the 3rd, 5th, 10th best prospects. Castillo is someone you trade for to win a world series, plus you get him for another year.

    I think the Yankees are still missing something, and need to go over the top to try to win a World Series much like the Cubs did when getting Chapman years back.

  25. Jeremiah

    On Mahle, why not extend him possibly? I think if you could extend Mahle for 3-4 years maybe give him 13-15 million a year that’d be a risk worth taking. I could see Mahle going to the Braves or some team like that and being really good. GABP probably hurts him. But if you trade Castillo, keep Mahle and you still have somewhat of a veteran to help lead the other younger guys and you aren’t just going with all 2nd year starters next year.

    Mahle, Lodolo, Greene, Ashcraft, one of the other younger players or an older veteran cheap FA next year and could be a good staff.

    I think the bullpen continues to be a concern though and may be as important as the rotation moving forward. Well it’s all important!

  26. Still a Red

    I’d love to see Castillo stay…but, he will likely cost too much. Cold-hearted fact. He’s at maximum trade value now. Do you get the best offer you can, or do you get what you want/need or walk? I say be willing to walk, at least we’d get to watch for another year and relatively cheap. I also agree we should get a ready to play position player. There are plenty of holes for sure. Why not a first baseman to replace Votto?

  27. Steven Ross

    Turning 30 is not on the wrong side of 30. That’s on the good side. 38 to 39 is on the wrong side of 30.

    We still have team control of Castillo for one more year before he becomes a FA. Why trade him now unless we get an offer we can’t refuse? I’d keep him.

    • Richard Fitch

      It’s the wrong side of 30 when considering long term contracts for lots of $$$.

      50% of free agent contracts of $100M or more involving players 30 years or older are failures. Failures are defined at deals the team wouldn’t do if they had the ability to do them over again.

      Them’s the facts, Steven.

  28. Reds linkage

    Reds need to keep Castillo and Mahle. So they can pitch 1and 2 ahead of Greene and Lodolo. That would form a elite pitching staff for years to come. Get some bullpen help. Hopefully Sims and Antone will be healthy which will help. Stephenson, India, Senzel , Drury and hopefully Barrero could form a good nucleus for years. Will need some offensive help in some FA’s. Reds fans deserve to put a team on the field that can contend. If you keep trading players away every year you’ll never get ahead. Been a Reds fan my whole life. It’s time for them to be good for a few years. Ownership should step up.