The Yankees and Reds had talks about a trade for Luis Castillo, but Cincinnati’s exorbitant demands killed any chance for a deal.
It’s fair to wonder if the Reds ever had any intention of letting Luis Castillo move to the Yankees this offseason. The outlandish compensation requests Cincinnati made during their talks with New York make it seem more like a fishing expedition than substantive trade discussions.
According to Jon Heyman, the Reds wanted Gleyber Torres to be the centerpiece of any package that would see Castillo heading to the Bronx. Predictably, that request ended the talks from the Yankees’ point of view. Torres suffered through a disappointing 2020 campaign, but New York still regards him as a potential MVP candidate who can anchor the middle of their lineup for years to come.
Castillo-to-Yankees talks appear deal for now
It will be interesting to see if the Reds try to re-engage the Yankees with a more reasonable ask in the near future. There’s nothing wrong with Cincinnati making such an exorbitant ask this early in the offseason, but prying Torres away from New York was never a realistic goal. Time will tell if Cincinnati was trying to anchor the negotiations with such an ambitious request or will be content to keep Castillo heading into the regular season. The Reds front office has since commented suggesting they will not be dealing him this offseason.
Don’t expect the Yankees to cease their attempts to acquire another starting pitcher via trade after being rebuffed on Castillo. He might represent the team’s first choice, but he’s not the only arm capable of strengthening Aaron Boone’s starting rotation. Pirates’ starter Joe Musgrove could easily become the team’s new focus in the coming days, and he’d come at a more affordable price tag.
The news that Cincinnati wanted Torres from the Yankees will send a clear message to other teams interested in Castillo that they must be prepared to make a massive offer to make a deal happen. That should cool off his trade market for the foreseeable future. He is not a lock to be a member of the Reds’ roster come Opening Day, but the odds have significantly increased after the breakdown of talks with the Yankees.