Yankees Mock Trade: Prospect package for Reds star pitcher Luis Castillo

Alexander Wilson
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

The New York Yankees could use support in the outfield to replace Joey Gallo, but reports have indicated that general manager Brian Cashman could be eyeing a potential starting pitcher at the trade deadline this year.

With the deadline coming up in just about a month, Cashman has a few weeks to identify the major issues on the team and what will become a more prevalent problem come the playoffs.

Clearly, he believes that starting pitching rotation will need more support, which is why he’s been in contact with the Cincinnati Reds regarding SP Luis Castillo, according to The Athletic’s Peter Gammons.

What would Luis Castillo bring to the Yankees?

Castillo is struggling this season in Cincinnati, posting a 3.71 ERA after recording a 3.98 ERA last season. He’s only striking out 8.65 batters per nine, well down from his 11.44 number in 2020. Castillo isn’t giving up a ton of homers at just 0.71 per nine, but his ground ball percentage is down about 7%.

However, allowing Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake two help alleviate his problems might be a perfect scenario for the Yankees. Castillo will be a free agent in 2024, meaning the Bombers would have 1.5 years on his contract until they have to make a decision on his future.

Castillo utilizes four pitches primarily, including a 4-seam fastball, sinker, slider, and change-up. He’s using his 4-seam fastball the lowest in his career at just 23.6% this season, witnessing a significant increase in his slider usage. Opposing batters are having a hard time hitting every pitch but his sinker, where they’re hitting .268.

Considering his sinker takes up 26% of his total pitch usage, he’s clearly giving up a bit too much ground using it. His 4-seam fastball is generating a .156 batting average at 96.5 mph. He may want to consider using his 4-seam more frequently compared to his sinker, but a pitching coach like Blake might be able to correct whatever issues he’s having. He’s generating only a 9.1% WHIFF rate, whereas his 4-seam is curating a 41.1% WHIFF rate.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at what the Yankees would have to give up for Castillo in a prospective deal.

Gammons also indicated that Cincinnati has an eye on pitching prospect Will Warren, who is currently tossing for the Yankees Double-A affiliate.

A potential trade package:

Warren doesn’t have exponential value, so we are likely looking at a bigger package, including Everson Pereira, Hayden Wesneski, Will Warren, and potentially another piece. Offering another prospect like RHP Randy Vasquez might push the deal over the hump. However, giving up such a lucrative amount of prospects in exchange for 1.5 years of Luis Castillo, who’s currently struggling, might be a silly move at the end of the day.

If Cashman feels as though Castillo could help him win a World Series this season, he should pull the trigger, but the Yankees starting rotation has been phenomenal this season. That would suggest that allocating resources toward other spots may be more advisable.