1. Luis Castillo and Nicholas Castellanos for Deivi Garcia, Clint Frazier, Gary Sanchez and a Prospect
The only reason Castillo is starting to become attainable is due to his dip in velocity so far in 2021, which isn’t encouraging, but also makes about as much sense as the Yankees’ collective backslide on pitches down the pipe. After taking a step back to assess the situation, we’d be willing to bet on a bounce back from both.
After all, his average fastball velocity is back up to the 90th percentile, though the results still aren’t there.
The Castellanos acquisition in Frazier’s stead? That comes from both a desire to maximize Frazier’s value and grab a more talented player who exudes Rougned Odor’s helpful energy. Frazier was handed the starting left field job to open 2021, but found himself benched for Brett Gardner at the first sign of trouble, and is also in the middle of the worst 13-game stretch for a Yankees outfielder in franchise history. The team seems committed to his failure more than his success, and we hope he thrives in Cincinnati in this scenario.
Castellanos, the 29-year-old firestarter who got the entire Cardinals roster angry at him earlier this month, has an OPS+ of 163 (yes, Yankees fans, it’s possible to perform offensively at a level that’s above league average). He doesn’t walk much, but he screams a lot. He hits for power, he attacks the baseball, and he hasn’t posted an OPS+ below 120 in a full campaign since the 2017 season.
This deal is contingent on Cincinnati face-planting, but don’t rule out something bananas happening this summer. If it does, the Yankees would much rather former stars like Sanchez be included than top prospects, making the deal a cost-cutting maneuver, too.
Who blinks first? Probably Cincinnati, but come on, it’d be interesting!