While the New York Mets will get ace pitchers Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom back in the rotation sooner or later, it is not stopping the team from targeting starting pitchers ahead of the August 2 trade deadline.
The Mets currently have the best record in the National League, despite their starting rotation being mired by injuries and some mixed results. DeGrom has missed the entire season thus far with a shoulder injury. Big-ticket free-agent Scherzer has missed more than a month with an oblique strain. And Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Tylor Megill have been serviceable in their 27 combined starts. Yet, the team has endured nonetheless.
New York Mets one of several teams targeting Luis Castillo
However, it seems the organization understands it can’t assume those players will turn it around in the next few months, and that the offense will continue to make up the ground by banging out runs in the playoffs. With that in mind, New York Post MLB insider Jon Heyman reported on Thursday that the Mets are one of several teams that are showing interest in Castillo ahead of the trade deadline.
Castillo is a six-year veteran with one All-Star game appearance under his belt. He has spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds and has worked his way into being a top-of-the-rotation talent for Cincy. Despite an ugly win-loss record over the last few years, including an 8-16 record in 2021, Castillo has pitched to a sub 4.00 ERA every season except one, on a team that has finished near the bottom of the NL Central for most of those years.
Castillo was on the Mets’ radar before the season, and during the lockout, former Mets general manager and current SNY analyst Jim Duquette suggested a possible trade idea that could land Castillo.
“I would limit it to Jeff McNeil — we’re not quite sure where he fits on the roster — and one of the lesser prospects like a Mark Vientos,” Duquette said earlier this year. “Who had over 20 home runs this past year … I would really limit it there. I don’t know if there’s enough there to get Castillo with just those two guys, but I don’t think you need to go out and make a huge trade at the moment.”
However, McNeil has had a major bounceback season in 2022 and is currently hitting .327. Chances are he would not be up for grabs in a trade now.