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Yankees potential trade target: Luis Castillo

The Reds need to be blown away to move their ace. Would the Yankees do it?

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

While it’s nice to have five starting pitchers in the rotation for a change, the Yankees’ starting pitching depth is still quite shaky. Help may be on the way in the form of Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, and maybe even Jonathan Loaisiga at some point. However, this is the biggest weakness on the team, and the area they should be most focused on improving leading up to the trade deadline. The Cincinnati Reds happen to have a top starting pitcher who, according to Jon Morosi, isn’t exactly off limits. Could Brian Cashman work out another trade with them?

Luis Castillo, the Reds’ ace, has been great this season. In just his third year in the majors, the 26-year-old has pitched to a 2.41 ERA (3.67 FIP) across 112 innings. He has racked up 134 strikeouts—good for 10.77 K/9—and sports a 1.12 WHIP. The right-hander has also done a nice job of preventing home runs (0.80 HR/9). The only real knock on his season to date has been an uptick in free passes (4.50 BB/9). He even took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Brewers a few weeks ago.

With Sevy still on the injured list, Castillo would easily slot in as the best (or second-best) pitcher on the team. There are two potential roadblocks to a Castillo trade, however. The first is that the Reds, rather shockingly, aren’t actually out of the race at this point. The NL Central happens to be the only division in MLB where all five teams still have a fighting chance. While the Reds are in last place at the moment, they only trail the first-place Cubs and Brewers by 6.5 games. They might not be sellers at the deadline for the first time in awhile.

Even if the Reds do go on a losing streak, and Castillo is somehow made available, the Yankees would have to put together a hefty package to land him. The right-hander doesn’t even hit free agency until 2024. As we know, team-controlled, elite pitchers don’t grow on trees. Such a trade would require the Bombers to give up MLB players and top prospects. A package built around Clint Frazier certainly wouldn’t get the job done.

It may be fun to daydream about Luis Severino and Luis Castillo being the one-two punch at the top of the Yankees’ rotation for years to come, but don’t count on seeing the latter in pinstripes anytime soon. The odds of the Reds sending Castillo to New York this year are about as good as the chances of Sonny Gray becoming a Yankee again.

What kind of deal would you put together to send Castillo to the Yankees? Let us know in the comments.