The New York Yankees are seeing a significant regression in starting pitching quality over the past few weeks. With that type of issue presenting itself, general manager Brian Cashman might want to scour the market for a potential acquisition.
Recently, it was reported that the Yankees were intrigued by Cincinnati Reds star pitcher Luis Castillo. Every season Castillo and the Bombers are connected in a prospective trade, but this year it makes sense given the Yankees’ World Series aspirations.
However, Cincinnati is going to want a haul in return for Castillo, who still has two years left before becoming a free agent. He will be arbitration-eligible this upcoming off-season, which would likely be a hefty payday.
The New York Post reports:
The Twins, Padres and Mets are among many teams in on Castillo, and it’s no surprise the Reds seek a “top” prospect, such as Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza from the Yankees — who check on everyone but actually have a more pressing need, anyway (an outfielder of course)”
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New York Yankees-Cincinnati Reds Mock Trade:
-SP Luis Castillo
This season, Castillo features a 2.92 ERA over 71 innings. He’s recording a 9.38 strikeouts per nine rate and allowing just 0.63 home runs per nine. His 49.7% ground ball rate is a bit down from his 53.5% average, but he is still an incredibly effective pitcher that is giving up the least amount of homers in his entire career.
Castillo features four different pitches, including a slider, sinker, change-up, and 4-seam fastball. His fastball is his primary pitch, averaging out at 96.9 mph. Up to this point, Castillo’s worst pitch is a sinker, with opposing batters hitting .313 against it. However, the rest of his pitches are generating sub .200 batting averages.
Castillo has pitched over 160 innings three times in his career, so the Yankees could rely on him as an October arm during the postseason. At this point, Nestor Cortes might be a liability down the stretch, especially after getting crushed against Boston on Friday night.
Clearly, the value was there for Castillo, but it’s going to take a massive haul to land him.
-RHRP Dauri Moreta
The Yankees ask Cincinnati to throw in another bullpen arm, Dauri Moreta. Moreta hosts an 8.22 ERA this season over 23 innings, but was dominant at the Triple-A level with Cincinnati’s affiliate. With Matt Blake as his pitching coach, the Yankees might be able to get a little bit more out of Moreta, who has solid velocity at 96.1 mph on his fastball.
Moreta might consider adding a sinker to his game, which could help the Yankees bullpen down the stretch. However, he features a fastball, change-up, and slider, a good sequence he can rely on while building on his repertoire.
-SS Oswald Peraza
Cincinnati wants one of the Yankees’ top young prospects, which means Oswald Peraza is on the move. The Yankees are committed to giving Anthony Volpe the first crack at the shortstop position down the road, but Peraza could be used as a quality trade piece right now.
At 22 years old, Peraza is hitting .246 with a 31.7% on base rate. However, in the month of June, Peraza took his game to another level, hitting .303 with a 38% on-base rate, four homers, and nine RBIs. He’s already started off July with similar production, so his value is the highest it’s ever been.
-SP Hayden Wesneski
The next piece to the player package is Hayden Wesneski. Giving up Wesneski would hurt, considering he features a 3.79 ERA with Triple-A, Scranton this year over 76 innings. The Yankees are extremely high on Wesneski, but if they want to give themselves a great shot at winning a World Series with top-end starting pitching, Castillo is worthwhile.
-SP Randy Vasquez
As mentioned before, the Reds wanted an absolute haul in exchange for their best pitcher.
The Yankees toss in Randy Vasquez to help push the deal along. With Somerset in Double-A this season, Vasquez hosts a 3.06 ERA over 67.2 innings pitched. He’s struck out 65 batters and given up just five home runs.
Vasquez has been electric this season in his development, meaning he could be a great player down the road. If this is the last piece of the puzzle for the Reds, it would be a difficult decision for general manager Brian Cashman, who doesn’t usually sell the farm for a singular player.