Yankees: 3 Tigers trade targets to keep an eye on this series

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Harold Castro #30 of the Detroit Tigers (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

1. Harold Castro

Harold Castro, a curiosity, is for sure hitting the baseball well in 2021. As he did in 2020. As he did in 2019.

The Tigers will have to decide whether or not he’s somebody they believe will be on the next great team in Detroit, though, or whether they’d rather sell him at something that looks like his peak.

Truth be told, Castro is probably not a starting infielder on a championship-caliber team considering his stark lack of power. Luckily, that’s not what the Yankees need, though. They need a roving slap hitter who can fill in occasionally and whip singles from the left side of the plate, and that’s exactly what Castro provides.

Following a .347 average and 130 OPS+ in just 22 games last season, he’s replicated that average thus far in 2021, hitting .351 through 26 games without a home run — though he did run into five baseballs in 2019, his only campaign approximating a full season. Under control for a minuscule price through 2025, the 27-year-old Venezuelan might fill a nice roving role once played by Thairo Estrada in the Bronx. Perhaps he might do well next to Gleyber “De Caracas” Torres at second? He’s also spent time at third, first, short, and across the outfield, pocketing singular bases wherever he floats.

Truly, we have … no idea how to estimate Castro’s prospect cost. Of course the Tigers like him, but we’re not sure how they could value him the same way you’d value, say, a proven power bat or an infielder who hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. Castro seems destined to wind up playing an important role as the 25th man on a good team rather than a starter asked to carry the water on a struggling group, and as long as it wouldn’t require any prospect in their top 15, the Yankees should be interested.