The Cincinnati Reds stink. Sorry, Queen City fans, you know it’s true. And it doesn’t look like things will get better any time soon, not with ownership cutting costs after splurging on a few big-ticket free agents in the recent past. It’s a messy combination of overpriced vets and unwilling owners. One clear path back toward contention is to deal Luis Castillo.
Castillo has been a clear top-of-the-rotation starter for the last few seasons, with a 3.55 ERA since 2019 that’s all the more impressive considering the bandbox he calls home. He’s thrown 512-1/3 innings over that time with 573 Ks and 200 BBs. Sure, that walk total is a bit high, but he doesn’t give up many hits – especially not homers (again, in Great American Ball Park!) – so he makes it work.
With a $7.35M salary this year and arbitration eligibility for 2023, this is another situation in which the acquiring team is not renting a player for one playoff run but instead is snagging someone who can help that postseason push twice.
Intra-division trades happen despite the likelihood of it making a deal more challenging. When one team clearly is on the wane while the other is on the rise, finding a deal that works both ways is more easily done.
Similar to the A’s, the Reds could use help just about everywhere. As such, a package akin to what was proposed for Montas would be in play. That’s something like Donovan, Burleson, and Naughton, though the exact names could vary around that general overall talent level. Each would be missed – though they would be seen every season on the other side of the field as fellow National League Central players – but it takes talent to get talent, and Castillo certainly is a skilled pitcher.