2. Luis Castillo
Regardless of how cash-poor ownership has now decided to behave, the player cost in a Luis Castillo trade will certainly still be high.
After a difficult start to 2021 (by his or anyone’s standards), Castillo rebounded to post something approaching his traditional numbers, finishing the season with 192 strikeouts in 187.2 innings alongside a 3.98 ERA and 4.8 WAR, totals that felt impossible out of the gate.
The 6-2 right-hander — who I’ve been wanting to call “diminutive” forever, but is actually tall and just gives off small vibes — has been relatively durable, too, and comes with two years of control. Assuming All-Star status in a player’s prime is always a fool’s game, but Castillo, with the Yankees offense behind him, would likely be a fairly safe bet at the ages of 29 and 30.
The one problem here? Everybody wants him, and he’s not just getting pried loose thanks to the Reds’ newfound chintzy attitude. He was theoretically on the block before the teardown began, but the team will also be more than happy to hold onto him … until this year’s deadline, next offseason, or the deadline after that.
The cost of a Castillo deal remains unchanged (certainly won’t be any cheaper due to the Reds’ malfeasance), and the Yankees will likely have to outbid NL Wast stalwarts like the Dodgers and Padres here. But there’s no reason not to ask — even though it seemed like there might be last spring.