Yankees Rumors: Cashman could be eyeing Cincinnati star pitcher at trade deadline

New York mets, Luis Castillo
Sep 11, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) pitches during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have one of the best starting rotations in baseball, but general manager Brian Cashman could be seeking reinforcements nonetheless. If the team really wants to win a World Series this year, acquiring a legitimate star to help them during the postseason might be a good move, but is it necessary?

There is no question that Gerrit Cole will remain the team’s ace heading into the postseason, but can they depend on Nestor Cortes, Montgomery, Taillon, and Severino to get the job done? Some might say, “absolutely.”

According to Peter Gammons of The Athletic, the Yankees could dive into the SP market:

On June 20, the Yankees were on a pace for 122 wins. Four of the teams on pace to lose 100 games were scouting the Yankee organization. Why not? They know that while Yankees starting pitchers led the American League in earned run average and WAR, Brian Cashman is going to make a run at Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas.

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How is Castillo performing this season?

Castillo, 29, has pitched 51 innings this season with a 3.71 ERA. He’s not having his best campaign compared to 2020 when he recorded a 3.21 ERA. However, he is generating a 50% ground ball rate which would be perfect for Yankee stadium. Castillo features a four-seam fastball, sinker, change-up, and slider. Opposing batters are taking advantage of Castillo’s sinker this season, hitting .268 with a .411 slugging percentage.

Giving pitching coach Matt Blake an opportunity to fix Castillo’s sinker and revitalize his season might be an ideal situation.

Luis isn’t a free agent until 2024 and is earning $7.35 million this season. He is arbitration-eligible next year, so the Yankees would get 1.5 years of play from Castillo before they have to make a long-term decision on his future.

Considering Cashman has given away star prospects in the past for players he desires, the Reds can likely get a few young pieces for the future in exchange for Castillo. Cincinnati currently sits at the bottom of the NL Central with just 24 wins, so they are undoubtedly in a position to rebuild.