The New York Yankees were outbid for Luis Castillo after the Seattle Mariners made an offer the Cincinnati Reds couldn’t refuse — a package of four prospects, including their No. 1 prospect in SS Noelvi Marte.
It would’ve been tough for the Yankees to match that, because that means Anthony Volpe was likely gone in such a package, in addition to a few other top names. Some fans might complain about the Yankees’ overall unwillingness to trade Volpe, but he’s their top prize and there’s a clear path for him to eventually take over at shortstop.
For a team like the M’s trading their top shortstop prospect, that wasn’t as big of a deal because they have JP Crawford at the position for the next five years and were able to surrender talent from a place of depth.
Based on MLB.com’s rankings, the Yankees would’ve had to surrender Volpe, No. 3 prospect SS Oswald Peraza, No. 5 prospect Ken Waldichuk and someone outside of their top 30. That’s a monstrous package for a guy like Castillo, who, while dominant this year, led the league in walks and losses in 2021.
Instead, the Yankees went for a comparable talent in A’s righty Frankie Montas, but it’s hardly paid similar dividends. Nonetheless, the Yankees tried for Castillo but refused to enter the dangerous bidding territory in the name of preserving their best for years to come.
Per MLB insider Jon Heyman, general manager Brian Cashman didn’t cheap out, either. He was willing to offer No. 2 prospect Jasson Dominguez as the centerpiece, which was beyond reasonable. Once the M’s swooped in with the massive overpay, there was no competing because that would’ve restricted other moves the Yankees would’ve had to make.
The Reds turned down a Yankees-Jasson Dominguez trade package for Luis Castillo
Heyman also noted that the Yankees were (obviously) unwilling to trade Volpe, but Peraza was also off limits! Maybe parting with Dominguez and Peraza felt excessive and counterintuitive to the future plans. Can’t disagree with that necessarily.
But if Montas ends up not being sufficient after costing four prospects (including capable pitchers JP Sears and Waldichuk), then the Yankees might look back and kick themselves for at least not willing to push the envelope with Peraza, who, while good, is redundant because of the plentiful shortstop talent in the pipeline.
Either way, for as much flak as fans give the front office, knowing they were willing to go as far as Dominguez as the centerpiece despite being short on outfield talent at the moment shows Cashman was willing to go all out in a different respect.
This feels like it was more bad luck because of the Mariners’ desperation than it was the Yankees being conservative and not reading the room, if that makes you feel any better about their underwhelming trade deadline.