The New York Yankees need at least a couple of starting pitchers, maybe three, for depth purposes. Ideally, at least one of them would be someone who can impact their season significantly, as opposed to just back-end starters just to fill out the roster.
Free agency presents the Yankees with several top options: Robbie Ray, Carlos Rodon, Justin Verlander, Kevin Gausman, Noah Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman are some of the alternatives available in the open market.
However, the trade market could also be something that the Yankees may explore this winter. And it appears that an old target just became available again.
The Cincinnati Reds traded catcher Tucker Barnhart and waived solid starter Wade Miley, all over money. They are clearly in cost-cutting more. MLB Trade Rumors reported (through MLB Networkâ€™s Jon Morosi) that, for the second straight offseason, top starter Luis Castillo may be available in trade talks.
The Yankees may ask for Castillo again
Last year, Reds GM Nick Krall firmly denied that Castillo was available, but clubs inquired anyway, including the Yankees. They were told, reportedly, that they needed to trade Gleyber Torres and more to get the pitcher.
Itâ€™s unclear if the Reds, who still have control over Castillo for two more seasons, are still interested in the Yankeesâ€™ shortstop, but given the emergence of Jonathan India and Gleyberâ€™s down season, it seems unlikely.
Castillo has a 3.72 ERA, 30.4% strikeout rate, 53.9% grounder rate, and 14.4 fWAR over 707 1/3 career innings in the last five years. Last year, he overcame a rough start to finish at a 3.98 ERA.
The Yankees, even if the Reds arenâ€™t interested in Torres anymore, have the pieces to get something done should Cinci decides to pounce. Castilloâ€™s name is yet another option for the Bombers to improve their starting pitching depth: he has a long track record of being successful and will pitch the 2022 campaign at 29 years old.