As the New York Yankees continue their pursuit for a No. 2 starter, fans at this point know the options are limited. If we’re really going to boil it down, it’s probably between Cincinnati Reds’ Luis Castillo and Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, both of whom will be very difficult to acquire in any trade.
But what we do know is that the Yankees at least had talks with the Reds about Castillo, during which Cincinnati reportedly asked for Gleyber Torres. General manager Brian Cashman said no, and that was that. Reds owner Bob Castellini has reportedly made it clear he wants a shortstop, so it makes sense why Cincy would try and ask.
Then again, there are plenty of free agent shortstops available, and the Yankees can offer a number of other Gleyber Torres-less packages to land Castillo that would greatly help the Reds.
Now that the Reds are more aggressively exploring shortstop options in free agency according to the latest reports, does that mean the nature of the talks surrounding Castillo could change?
Cincinnati, earlier in the offseason, reportedly expressed interest in Didi Gregorius. Now, it’s Andrelton Simmons. Neither of those guys are franchise options, with Gregorius serving as a reliable option for likely another three years (tops) and Simmons being a stopgap option for 1-2 years. So how does that help the Yankees?
They have a few shortstop prospects in Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe and Josh Smith they could build packages around, with each of them likely being MLB-ready within the next 2-3 years. That means the Reds can get by with a low-cost free agent option and then promote one of these guys when the time comes.
The only downside here? If the Reds are signing a guy like Simmons or Gregorius, trading Castillo kind of feels pointless, since the idea would be to contend if you’re going to spend on one of the leading options on the open market. Then again, the Reds have a lot more problems than just shortstop, so we’d like to think the advantage remains in the Yankees’ favor when it comes to making a Castillo trade happen.
View this news however you please, but it does provide a shred of hope that a Castillo-to-the-Bronx scenario isn’t fully dead yet.