Yankees: Jeff Passan emphatically smacks down Luis Castillo trade rumors


The Reds and Yankees are not completing a trade for Luis Castillo. Oof!

Despite the presence of Corey Kluber, a win for those with faith in bounce-backs, the Yankees are still very much in need of a bonafide No. 2 starter for 2021.

Luis Severino? Yeah, he might fill that role at the peak of his powers. But we haven’t seen him at that level since mid-2018. Masahiro Tanaka? He’s probably not coming back and, well…he also wasn’t exactly a No. 2 in 2020, either, when he was skipped in favor of a single Deivi Garcia inning in Game 2 of the ALDS.

All this uncertainty has led Bronx Bombers fans to spin their wheels wildly online, and for one brief second this weekend, it seemed like they’d actually manifested a trade for an ace-level option out of nowhere.

Luis Castillo of the Reds is likely the only semi-available game-changer this offseason, and Yankees fans crossed their fingers so hard on Sunday that actual reports out of Venezuela started indicating that a deal was done. Done! What?!

Well, not so fast.

Not fast at all, actually. You should come to a complete stop, in fact.

ESPN’s MLB insider Jeff Passan, known for his candor but not for his tolerance of foolishness, entered the arena to smack down that report almost immediately.

And quite powerfully.

You didn’t have to take his home and well-being from him too, Jeff. It was enough to just say he was mistaken, Jeff!

To his credit, Ricardo Gibbon, the generator of the report claiming Castillo and a major offensive piece were heading to New York, defended his work in full, and reminded the world that his outlet was first to the Kluber news in December.

You may remember that Passan tried to make him taste it back then, too.

So, what’s going on here? Should Yankees fans be holding out hope for Luis Castillo in their hung-up-way-too-long stockings?

No. Reds GM Nick Krall also said this was a no go, and Jon Heyman leaked on Monday morning that Cincinnati did ask the Yankees for Gleyber Torres in their initial conversations on the topic several weeks ago. Those conversations are, as far as we can tell, the entire basis for the rumor.

Set your sights a little lower, Yankees fans. Passan isn’t entering the fray to smack down any Chad Kuhl rumors anytime soon.