Yankees could make blockbuster move for Luis Castillo, but here’s why they won’t

New York Yankees, Luis Castillo
Sep 21, 2020; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) throws against the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine the New York Yankees‘ starting pitching rotation looking like this:

1.) Gerrit Cole

2.) Corey Kluber

3.) Luis Castillo

4.) Jameson Taillon

5.) Jordan Montgomery/Domingo German/Deivi Garcia

Pretty nice, right? Well, what are the chances that Cincinnatti star Luis Castillo becomes available…for the right price? Low.

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden responded to a question regarding the Yankees potentially targeting Luis Castillo at the trade deadline later this year:

Q: If the Yankees look pretty good at the deadline and think it could be their year, but they need one more piece, do you think GM Brian Cashman sells the farm for Luis Castillo?

A: I’ve never seen Cashman “sell the farm,” so I don’t think that’s going to happen. I do think he’ll make a strong offer to land Castillo if he can. However, in past conversations between the teams, the Reds were interested only if they could get Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres back in the trade, and that’s not happening.
The Yankees will never part ways with Gleyber Torres unless they feel absolutely necessary, and as of right now, he is their starting shortstop. Management has high expectations for Torres, who has been phenomenal this spring so far, earning a .400 batting average with six hits and two homers over just 15 at-bats. If he can carry this production into the regular season, Torres could have a massive bounce-back year, and hopefully, his defense improves in the process.
However, if the Yankees could strike a deal with the Cincinnati Reds for Luis Castillo, he’s just hitting his prime, and the team has control over him until 2024. He’s earning just $4.2 million for the 2021 season and logged a 3.21 ERA last year over 70 innings. He’s a bonafide starter with ace potential, and parting ways with a player like Deivi García might be in their best interest, despite Castillo being 28 years old. Luis has plenty of juice left in his arm — he would be an immediate upgrade over Jordan Montgomery in the middle of the rotation.
Alternatively, Garcia is 21 and already adapting to the MLB level, and they might see more upside with him, especially since he is seven years younger than Castillo. This is a preference of winning now or later, but I believe García could end up being just as efficient within the next two years.
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