Luis Castillo Drawing Early Commercial Interest

The Reds have a pair of top trade candidates in this summer’s market, with novice shooters Louis Castle And the Tyler Mahley All in the middle of the penultimate seasons to dominate the club. The teams in need will be alternately discussing with Cincinnati General Manager Nick Krall and his staff over the next six weeks, a few of whom have already expressed an early interest in Castillo.

John Heyman of the New York Post lists the Twins, Mets, and Padres among the clubs in the market. This certainly wouldn’t be an exhaustive list, as nearly every rider can find space in the starting five for a shooter of this caliber. Castillo is playing this season with an affordable $7.35 million salary (a little more than half of which is still due), so most clubs shouldn’t have a problem fitting him into the picture financially.

Castillo has been one of the sport’s most productive arms over the past few years. Despite spending his entire MLB career with a team playing on one of the friendliest home volleyball fields, Right has had an epoch under 4.00 in five of his six seasons. That includes this year’s mark of 3.71 through nine starts and 51 runs.

The 29-year-old’s core numbers aren’t quite as strong in 2022 as they were in previous years. The strike rate of 22.9% and swing stroke rate of 10.5% are close to the league’s junior averages for this season. Castillo’s 49.6% average ball play is solid but below the 55-58% range he’s been sitting in each year from 2019 to 2121. He’s also lost a mark on his average four-ply and fastball speed, possibly due to a bout of pain Shoulder that cost him the first month of the year.

Although Castillo’s first couple of months may be a little disappointing for his lofty standards, there will be no shortage of demand. Even fast checks that shrink a bit north of an average of 96 mph. His performance has remained strong this season – he has achieved 3.71 ERA and 3.88 SIERA below league marks of 4.10 and 4.09 for starters – and the Dominican Republic native has demonstrated the potential for impact in the past. Between 2019 and 21, Castillo was ranked among the top 25 qualified shooters in the ERA and strike rate and had the second highest hitter in the sport.

With that kind of resume, it’s no surprise that rival teams are already in contact with the Reds. The Twins are among the more obvious candidates for pickup rotations, and they’re also trying to explore the market for other high-end pickups like Mahle and A’s Frankie Montas. Minnesota shares play Thursday by percentage points behind the Guardians at AL Central, with the White Sox looming as a squad threat four games behind. The Minnesota rotation started strong but has been flagged for 4.80 PM over the past month, an extension that coincided with the injured list periods in the Billy Uber And the Chris Badack (The latter was done for the season after he underwent Tommy John’s surgery.)

On the other hand, the Mets have a star-studded rotation when they are healthy. Jacob DegromAnd the Max Scherzer And the Taylor Miguel They are all currently on the hit list, and have been on the fringes of the market for most of the stars available over the past twelve months. Scherzer is expected to be back soon (possibly as soon as this weekend), while DeGrum continues his lead from the shoulder blade reaction he suffered during spring training. The club are hoping to be back before the August 2 deadline, but it’s possible Miguel will be shelved after that point.

One could argue that New York should prioritize areas beyond rotation assistance, but Padres’ presence in the Castillo Market shows that even teams that don’t have a clear need figure do at least their due diligence. San Diego already has an excellent staff of six Joe MusgroveAnd the Shawn MindAnd the Yo DarwishAnd the Mackenzie GorAnd the Mike Clevenger And the Blake Snell. This forced the signing offseason Nick Martinez In a swing role, the prevailing view is that this surplus is more likely to be dealt with than to add another impact start. Between the depth of their spin and the fact that they’re up against a core competitive balance tax threshold of $230 million, the brothers feel like a long shot for landing a Castillo-caliber boom. This may have been true of Manaea as well, however, head of baseball operations AJ Preller has shown time and time again that he is willing to act boldly to please the players the organization desires.

No deal with Castillo is imminent of course, and there will be plenty of teams up for auction over the coming weeks. The Reds don’t have to move on either he or Mahley with an extra season of dominance, but their turnover likely won’t be as high again as it will be this summer. At 23-46, Cincinnati has no chance of competing this year. Moving Castillo and/or Mahley could deal a major blow to the 2023 roster, but this year’s struggles may signal the need for a broader overhaul. The Reds have not entered this season with the intention of rebuilding, but their efforts to stay in the competition with some key players cut back on salary cuts have fizzled out with a 3-18 bid in April.

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