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Cubs trade target: Luis Castillo

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Hey, why not?

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

News item:

This is a puzzler, in a way; Luis Castillo, as noted, is just 28, comes with two more years of team control, and had a terrific second half of 2021 after a poor start.

It appears, with the Reds’ waiving of Wade Miley and the Cubs claiming him, and now this with Castillo, that they are retrenching for 2022. I wouldn’t necessarily call it “tanking,” but it seems clear that almost every Reds veteran is available.

Castillo, as noted, got off to a terrible start in 2021. At the end of May he had a 7.22 ERA and 1.777 WHIP in 11 starts. This was inexplicable; he wasn’t injured, and these numbers weren’t even close to being in line with his pre-2021 performance.

Then, as Jon Morosi wrote on Twitter, Castillo had a 2.73 ERA (and 1.204 WHIP) after June 1, that period covering 22 starts and 135⅓ innings, in which he struck out 144.

Those numbers got him to a 3.98 ERA and 1.364 WHIP for the season, a bit above his career norms. His K rate was down a bit (9.2 per nine innings, compared to 10.0 pre-2021) and he did lead the NL in walks (tied with Zach Davies!), but overall that was a 4.7 bWAR season, something that could fit in anyone’s rotation.

Castillo made $4.2 million in 2021. He’s arb-eligible in 2022 and you’d think that salary is likely to double, so let’s be generous and call it $9 million for next year.

For a guy who is essentially a 3 bWAR pitcher, that’s a great value.

In previous installments about guys I think the Cubs should pursue, I have posted salary figures or prospects who could be dealt. But not knowing if this is a full tanking by the Reds or not, I honestly don’t know what it would take to have them trade Castillo within the division.

So I’ll open it up to your suggestions. Castillo would be a great add to the Cubs rotation and with two years till he’s a free agent — and he’s just 28, as noted — maybe the Cubs could sign him to a contract extension.

What say you? What would it take to acquire Luis Castillo?

Poll

Luis Castillo...

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    ... the Cubs should trade for him no matter the cost in prospects
    (48 votes)
  • 51%
    ... the Cubs should trade for him, but only at the "right" cost in prospects
    (622 votes)
  • 42%
    ... the Cubs should not trade for him
    (509 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (24 votes)
1203 votes total Vote Now