Luis Castillo is among the league’s highest-profile trade candidates. The hard-throwing righty is having another excellent season, and with a year and a half of remaining club control, he’s a good bet to move from the 34-55 Reds to a contender in the next couple weeks.
Virtually every win-now team figures to inquire on Castillo, who’d upgrade any rotation. The Dodgers, Yankees, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Mariners, and Twins have all been linked to tied to the Cincinnati starter in recent weeks. Erik Boland of Newsday (Twitter link) and Sweeny Murti of WFAN (on Twitter) both report the Astros are also in the mix. Jon Heyman of the New York Post adds that teams like the Mets and Padres, who’d been linked to Castillo early in the process, are likelier to prioritize adding offensive help than an impact starter.
That said, even teams with enviable rotation depth figure to at least kick the tires on Castillo over the coming weeks. Houston’s interest is indicative of that, as they have arguably the best starting pitching outlook in the game. Astros starters rank second in the majors in ERA (3.15) and innings pitched (505), while they’re ninth in strikeout percentage (23.6%). That’s in spite of zero contributions from Lance McCullers Jr., perhaps the team’s top pitcher in 2021, as he’s rehabbed from a forearm issue.