Many New York Yankees fans have had ample time to watch other games this postseason because the Bombers were off for the Wild Card series and had two days in between ALDS Games 1 and 2. That allowed them to get prime viewing of Seattle Mariners ace Luis Castillo, one of their top trade deadline targets, against the Blue Jays and Astros.
The result? Mostly brilliance from the right-hander, outside of the untimely home run surrendered to Yordan Alvarez on Thursday, which put the M’s in an 0-2 ALDS hole against the Houston Astros. In his two postseason starts, Castillo is 1-1 with a 1.88 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 12 strikeouts.
Again, absolutely unstoppable outside of one floater Alvarez managed to guess correctly on. And since the Yankees could’ve used another ace-like arm to fortify their very realistic World Series hopes, many are still wondering what happened at this year’s trade deadline.
Well, we kind of know! The Mariners wildly outbid the field for Castillo. It paid off for them. They were in a position to do so. The Yankees, on the other hand, weren’t exactly in need of another starter (crazy to say, but true), especially one that would require emptying out their farm system.
Plus, there’s always the “Yankees Tax” that exists, but critics don’t want to believe. Per MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Reds told the Yankees to their face this was never going to happen.
The Reds admitted to the Yankees there was no way they’d be acquiring Luis Castillo
The Reds only wanted the Yankees’ “best package” of Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. They wouldn’t even bother to listen to alternatives. OK, then.
Both appear to be future franchise cornerstones, and the Yankees will be more than able to supplement their rotation via free agency these next few offseasons rather than parting with multiple near-MLB-ready prospects and then paying that big contract (which is exactly what the Mariners did with Castillo).
While acquiring Frankie Montas ended up being a disaster, there wasn’t much more the Yankees could do. And if they traded for nobody, fans would’ve likely been even more displeased.
Meanwhile, every prospect the Yankees traded at the deadline, with the exception of Hayden Wesneski, struggled mightily to close out the 2022 season. Cashman, though frustrating at times because of his unwillingness to “go for it all”, made the right call here. The rotation already has Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino. You’d obviously like a Castillo addition, but at that price? When you already have the pieces?
On top of making the right call to not go any further, the Yankees were never going to get Castillo when competing with the Mariners’ offer. The Reds even told them. Case closed. Move on. Enjoy what we’ve got.