2. Luis Castillo
Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo is likely the starting pitching crown jewel of the trade deadline considering he’s under club control through the 2023 season (which will only cost ~$10 million). The 2022 All-Star (2.77 ERA, 3.04 FIP, 1.07 WHIP) has bounced back after a career-worst 2021, during which many Yankees fans were thankful the team didn’t sell a big portion of the farm for the right-hander.
But now? Well, you know how baseball works. Castillo went from liability to premier asset, and one the Yankees could really use. It also doesn’t help the Blue Jays and Astros are reportedly interested here, which would be a double-loss for the Yanks if one of those teams acquires him.
Truth be told, New York has a few rotation issues. Gerrit Cole loses more big games than he wins. Jameson Taillon is fully hit or miss. Luis Severino is back on the IL. It feels like fans only truly know what they’re going to get out of Nestor Cortes and Jordan Montgomery, both of whom have largely remained consistent.
Acquiring Castillo would bump someone from the starting five, though — a problem the Yankees can figure out later. If Taillon continues to sputter, he could be the odd man out. If Severino starts to break down again, maybe he’s relegated to the bullpen. We just don’t know.
But for the sake of preserving the pitching staff and getting another top-end starter, Castillo is very much a “need” rather than a “want.”