Interest in Castillo will be high, so maybe a lesser talent like Tyler Mahle would be cheaper to acquire. Last year was his first time making a full allotment of starts, as Mahle tied for the league lead at 33. This season, he’s taken the bump every time it’s been his turn, 17 times to date.
The results haven’t been as good this season, as Mahle sports a 4.48 ERA, but over the last three years, he’s posted a cumulative 3.94 ERA with 372 strikeouts and 121 walks in 320 innings. Overall, that’s been significantly better than average. And as was said early, the Cardinals need someone solid, not spectacular, to eat some innings and give the ‘pen a bit of a break.
Mahle is unlikely to repeat his June 14th outing – a complete-game, three-hit, 12-strikeout shutout against the Diamondbacks – any time soon, but after a rough April in which he posted a 6.45 ERA, he’s been pretty solid the rest of the year. That will work just fine toward the back end of the rotation.
Another pitcher controllable through next season, Mahle is earning $5.2M this year. With that baseline to work from, he’ll certainly be affordable again in 2023. Perhaps Juan Yepez and minor league pitcher Michael McGreevy – two young, cheap players – would be the proper enticement to lure Mahle from Cincinnati to St. Louis.