Anticipation for the Major League Baseball trade deadline is at an all-time high, and Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo is arguably the top commodity on the market.
Out of the four teams reportedly showing interest in Castillo, three are members of the American League and two reside in the AL East. Given how tight the AL race is, the All-Star could create a major shakeup both down the stretch and in the postseason.
“The (New York) Yankees and (Los Angeles) Dodgers ‘have been very, very prominent’ in the trade market for Castillo, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman noted Friday in an appearance on MLB Central,” MLB.com published Friday. “Heyman also reported Thursday in an article for the New York Post that the (Houston) Astros have been ‘showing keen interest’ in Castillo, with the (Toronto) Blue Jays in the mix as well.”
Castillo has recorded a 2.77 ERA with an 82-to-27 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 78 innings across 13 starts and will be under team control for the 2023 season. He’s the most electric arm available and the extra year of team control will further push the price of acquiring him.
If the Dodgers go all-in for Castillo, an already superstar-laden roster gets even better. However, the real intrigue lies in the AL. Should the Yankees add the right-handed flame-thrower, they’ll cement themselves as the best team in MLB. That said, if the Astros, who already boast the best ERA in baseball, acquire Castillo, they would be in a fantastic position to swipe the top seed. As it stands now, Houston is just 2 1/2 games back of New York.
The last team with interest could drastically change the volatile Wild Card standings. The Blue Jays are currently locked into a tie with the Seattle Mariners for the second spot. Not too long ago they were on the outside looking in, and adding Castillo to an already impressive pitching staff would further cement their playoff contention.
One thing is for sure, Castillo has a real chance to make an impact on the 2022 season after spending years wasting away with the Reds.