But perhaps the most scintillating buzz involved a rumored trade that didn’t happen and probably won’t happen, especially if we’re to believe the Cincinnati Reds’ reported asking price.
The Yankees were linked to Reds pitcher Luis Castillo in trade rumors, which Cincinnati general manager Nick Krall since shot down as “completely false” in a text message to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman followed up on the chatter Monday, however, by reporting the Reds tested the waters on Castillo and other stars but now intend to keep the 28-year-old right-hander.
So, did the Reds and Yankees discuss a deal involving Castillo?
Well, according to Heyman, the Reds asked the Yankees for shortstop Gleyber Torres and additional compensation. New York reportedly shot down the request, meaning Castillo likely will remain in Cincy.
This would have been a fascinating trade that bolstered the Yankees’ rotation while giving the Reds a young, stud middle infielder to build around. It’s unclear how much more New York would have been required to surrender, though, or how opposed the Bronx Bombers are to moving Torres, 24, even for a frontline starter like Castillo.
Castillo was an All-Star in 2019, a season in which he went 15-8 with a 3.40 ERA, a 3.70 FIP, a 1.14 WHIP and 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings in 32 starts (190 2/ innings).
He went 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA, a 2.65 FIP, a 1.23 WHIP and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 12 starts (70 innings) during the condensed 2020 Major League Baseball campaign.
Torres, who joined the Yankees in the July 2016 trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs, was an All-Star in each of his first two major league seasons, including a 2019 in which he hit .278 with 38 home runs, 90 RBIs and an .871 OPS in 144 games (604 plate appearances).
Torres struggled this past season, batting .243 with three homers, 16 RBIs and a .724 OPS in 42 games (160 plate appearances).
Castillo is under club control with the Reds through 2023. Torres is under team control with the Yankees through 2024.
“We intend to have (Castillo) as a member of our rotation for 2021,” Krall told Sheldon in the aforementioned text.