If the New York Yankees really want Cincinnati Reds star pitcher Luis Castillo, they will need to offer up one of their top shortstop prospects.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post:
The Yankees wouldn’t mind another starter, and they do like Luis Castillo, but with the Reds’ requesting one of two top shortstop prospects — Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza — they may end up settling for a depth piece instead. Like everyone else, they’ll look at the bullpen, but with talented relievers Jonathan Loaisiga and Zack Britton heading back to an already excellent pen, that’s not a major need either.
The Yankees will have to choose between two of their top prospects:
Both Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe have been phenomenal as of late, dominating in the month of June and carrying that success over into July.
Starting with Peraza, the 22-year-old shortstop is hitting .242 on the season with a 31.3% on-base rate, 10 homers, and 29 RBIs. He’s also managed 18 stolen bases and 21 walks, striking out 64 times over 248 at-bats. In June, Peraza hit .303 with a 38% on base rate. To start July over six games, he’s hitting .261 with a 35% on-base rate and a .478 slugging percentage.
There’s a strong argument to make that Oswald should be called up to the majors right now to supplement Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who has struggled offensively this season.
However, Volpe is also having himself a solid few weeks, hitting .246 on the season. He’s posted 11 homers with 41 RBIs with Somerset in Double-A. So far this month, he’s hitting .286 with a 44.4% on-base rate and .909 OPS.
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Letting either prospect get away with hurt the Yankees’ farm system, but in exchange for Castillo, it might be worthwhile. If the Yankees have to choose between Peraza or Volpe, the first option seems to be most likely. Management is extremely high on Volpe and his future with the team, but given they refuse to call up Peraza despite shortstop woes is telling.
The Yankees may need a high-end starter come the post-season:
The Yankees’ starting pitching has been lackluster as of late, but Castillo could smooth things over rather quickly. The 29-year-old veteran hosts a 2.92 ERA this season over 71 innings, recording 9.38 strikeouts per nine and a 50% ground ball rate. Castillo features a 4-seam fastball, sinker, change-up, and slider. Averaging out at 97 mph on his fastball, there’s no doubt he would fit into the rotation with ease.
If there was ever a time for general manager Brian Cashman to make a blockbuster move at the deadline, it is now. The Yankees are staring at a potential World Series caliber team, and doing everything possible to improve the roster for the second half of the season is advised.