Entering Friday evening, the New York Yankees remained hard after Cincinnati Reds ace Luis Castillo, only to watch the Seattle Mariners upend the entire trade deadline four days prior to its expiration.
Castillo, armed with a devastating change and 99 MPH heat, would’ve done more than just “patch up” a deficiency in the rotation. He’d have been the team’s No. 2 starter in a postseason series, someone who Jack Curry recently hinted was “not yet” on the roster.
Castillo might have been the game’s most coveted quantity, non-Soto/Ohtani division, which meant the Mariners — late entrants into the race — had to pony up a spectacular haul, surrendering top shortstop Noelvi Marte, as well as two others of their top five prospects.
The Yankees equivalent of the Mariners’ package? It’s difficult to even determine. The Ms believe both Marte and Edwin Arroyo to be shortstops, meaning it might’ve looked as garish as … Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Ken Waldichuk and Yoendrys Gomez.
Now that New York has missed on Castillo, expect them to firmly plant themselves in the weeds alongside the St. Louis Cardinals in the Frankie Montas chase, as well as pivot to lesser targets like Noah Syndergaard of the Angels, first reported by Jon Heyman on July 29.
The “Castillo to the Yankees” buzz has been building for multiple seasons now, though, which led to heightened awareness of his dominant start in the Bronx two weeks ago. That day, Heyman cited the Yankees and Dodgers as the “early favorites” for the right-hander. In the weeks that have followed, though, it’s become obvious Castillo isn’t a fait accompli for Brian Cashman — and no, his haircut has nothing to do with it.
As Curry and Heyman made clear, though, someone is coming to the Boogie Down.
Yankees’ Luis Castillo Rumor Timeline: How did the Yankees miss out?
Here’s the official timeline of the progression of Castillo rumors. It seemed like the breadcrumbs would’ve eventually led the right-hander to the Bronx. Instead, he’ll probably debut for the Mariners against the Yankees next week in the Bronx.
Luis Castillo Mariners’ ‘Main Focus’, July 29: Upsettingly, the M’s entered the chat Friday, and many instantly worried they could force the Yankees’ hand by offering mega-prospect Marte at shortstop if they decide they can’t live without Castillo.
It seemed terrifying to watch (even though everyone knows Castillo was also the Yankees’ main focus).
Yankees Willing to Include Peraza, Not Volpe, for Castillo, July 29: Though expected, SNY’s Andy Martino formalized this reporting several days ahead of the trade deadline. An oft-rumored Peraza/Ken Waldichuk package felt like a logical starting point.
Blue Jays, Twins, Padres Also Lurking in Castillo/Montas Markets, July 28: We’ve heard the most about the Jays and Castillo, two connected parties from way back in the day (much like the Yankees and Castillo). Obviously, getting outbid by a division rival would’ve changed the AL East calculus significantly.
Cardinals Among Aggressive Castillo Suitors, July 27: ESPN’s Jeff Passan said it! (Subscription required.) The Cards are also reportedly in on A’s Frankie Montas and Marlins’ Pablo Lopez, which makes it evident they’re seeking a major rotation upgrade.
Astros Join Luis Castillo Trade Market, July 21 (rumored after July 14 start): Jon Heyman’s column holds the most recent high-profile mention of the Astros-Castillo connection, first reported by Sweeny Murti. Obviously, this would have been an even bigger disaster. Perhaps Castillo’s Mariners will even track down our enemies in Houston … ah, well. A disappointed man who wanted to deal for Luis Castillo can dream.