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Luis Castillo to the New York Mets, how a trade might look

Matt Johnson
Luis Castillo, New York Mets
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets rotation won’t have Jacob deGrom or Max Scherzer until July and both Cy Young Award winners carry significant durability risk. For a team with World Series aspirations, a Luis Castillo trade could be a possibility this summer.

MLB teams have coveted Castillo for years, wanting to get his outstanding changeup and fastball away from Great American Ballpark. In a more pitcher-friendly stadium with a new coaching staff and better defense, there is a belief Castillo could be an excellent No. 2 or 3 starter for a great team.

Months after the Cincinnati Reds started selling off impact talent, Castillo might be the next to move this summer. There is going to be plenty of interest in the 29-year-old righty, especially from teams in the National League with a track record of helping talented arms.

Related: Frankie Montas to the New York Mets, how it might work

Let’s examine what a Luis Castillo trade might cost the New York Mets and how he would fit into their rotation.

Potential cost of a Luis Castillo trade to the New York Mets

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Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Cincinnati’s willingness to trade Luis Castillo immediately makes him one of the likelier starting pitchers to move before the Aug. 2 deadline. He’s also a more attractive option than some others on the market because he is under team control through the 2023 season.

  • Luis Castillo contract: $7.35 million salary (2022), arbitration-eligible in 2023

There are slight reasons to knock Castillo compared to someone like Frankie Montas. Cincinnati’s righty already missed the start of the season due to a shoulder injury and there might be some slight medical concerns. Additionally, he hasn’t been quite as consistent as Montas over the last two seasons.

With that said, he is still a quality starter who can at the very least serve as a No. 3 pitcher for a playoff contender. Cincinnati will set a higher price tag because he is under contract next year, but the price might still be fairly reasonable.

  • New York Mets trade: Ronny Mauricio, Matthew Allan
  • Cincinnati Reds trade: Luis Castillo, Mike Siani

Using the BaseballTradeValues.com calculator, this deal squares up pretty evenly with the Reds acquiring 31.7 points in value and New York receiving 32.4 points in value.

Related: MLB trade rumors

The Mets keep their top prospects Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty, an outcome the organization certainly prefers. While losing Ronny Mauricio is a blow, New York is already committed to Francisco Lindor as its long-term shortstop. As for Matthew Allen, the 21-year-old righty is the Mets; No. 5 prospect by MLB Pipeline and profiles as a quality mid-rotation starter if he can be the same after undergoing two surgeries on his elbow.

Mike Siani provides New York with an opportunity to add outfield depth to its farm system. The 22-year-old will likely never hit enough to be an everyday player and he is still playing at Double-A. However, he’s an outstanding fielder in the outfield and it’s possible New York could use him as a defensive replacement in September.

Related: MLB power rankings 2022

How Luis Castillo fits into New York Mets rotation

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Toronto Blue Jays
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Some have dismissed the idea of acquiring Montas or Castillo because deGrom and Scherzer are scheduled to return in July. While both are each capable of carrying the Mets’ rotation, we’ve also seen that age and years of heavy workloads are catching up to them. If either goes down in October, New York’s pitching staff would suffer a devastating blow.

That’s precisely why acquiring another front-line starter makes sense. If injury strikes again, the Mets could still deploy a playoff rotation with Chris Bassitt, Taylor Megill, Castillo and a healthy deGrom or Scherzer. It’s necessary for a club that also includes durability risks with Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker already in the rotation.

There is also enough reason to believe Castillo can improve in a new environment. Stuck in Great American Ballpark, Castillo is left to overcome a stadium with the worst StatCast Park Factor (112) for pitchers in MLB. Putting that number in perspective, Citi Field ranks 19th in Park Factor (99) and there is a massive gap in the home run rating (151 vs 104).

Defense is just as important for Castillo, who has a career 53.8% groundball rate. He would benefit from a team that fields Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo and Luis GIllorme. He would also gain additional strikes with the Mets’ catcher better at framing pitchers than the Reds.

Related: MLB games today

Whether it’s Castillo or Mahle, the Mets have the farm system to acquire another high-end starter and it would be a wise move to acquire either player this summer.